Today in Sochi athletes are competing against the best in the world for five sets of medals. The men are chasing medals in the biathlon mass start, Super-G alpine skiing and 4 x 10 km cross country relay. The women will compete in the snowboard cross and 1500 meter speed skating competitions. Also on Sunday we’ll see the final games of the men’s preliminary round ice hockey, the first of the two–man heats in bobsleigh, and the ice dancing.
The biathlon mass start, which will be held this evening at Laura, brings together Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Sochi winner in the sprint, Martin Fourcade of France the Sochi double gold medalist, and Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway, one of the season’s leaders as well as Evgeny Ustyugov of Russia, winner of an great victory in the same race at the Vancouver Games.
Previously at Laura, Sweden and Norway revealed the strongest teams in the ski relay. Sweden came out on top at the last Olympics but the Norwegians are currently the world champions. The Russian team will be represented by Alexander Bessmertnykh, Dmitry Yaparov , Maxim Vylegzhanin, and Alexander Legkov.
In the Olympic Super-G victory, the Norwegians are often favourites and they have four of the seven gold medals in this discipline. The last gold, from Vancouver, belongs to Axel Lund Svindal, who has yet to win at the Games in Sochi. Other favorites include Americans Ted Ligety and Bode Miller.
In snowboard cross, contact racing on the slope with obstacles, the current favourite is Vancouver Olympic and 2013 world champion Maëlle Ricker from Canada. the list of contenders also includes her compatriot Dominique Maltais and American Lindsey Jacobellis.
At the Adler Arena, the Netherlands' Irene Wust is attempting to repeat the achievement of the great Soviet speed skater Lydia Skoblikova and defend the title of Olympic champion at 1,500m. America's Brittany Bowe and Heather Richardson, and Dutch skater Lotte van Beek plus the Russian Julia Skokova will try to stop her.
The Sanki track has meant gold for the German national team so far this Games and they have already picked up medals in the luge singles and pairs, and the relay team. And they’ll be hoping for more victories today to add to their World Champion titles.
Meanwhile, the ice dancing tournament will start at the Iceberg Skating Palace. Here, the fight for gold will be led by hard-to-beat competitors Meryl Davis and Charlie White from the USA and Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir from Canada. But the Russian pairs champions of Europe in 2013 Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitry Solovyov and no less ambitious Elena Ilinykhand Nikita Katsalapov are aiming for a place on the podium.