Six sets of medals will be contested at the Games on Friday as Sochi with more athletes taking to the ice and snow in pursuit of Olympic glory. The medal winners in biathlon (women, 15 km), cross-country skiing (men, 15 km), alpine skiing (men, super combined), women's aerials and skeleton as well as men's figure skating will be determined throughout the day.
The classic biathlon, women's 15 km, will take place on the Laura track. The favorites are Darya Domracheva from Belarus, who has already won the pursuit in Sochi, Slovakia’s sprint winner Anastasia Kuzmina, Norway's Tora Berger, as well as the Ukrainian Semerenko sisters.
Medals are also being fought over in the men's 15 km classic style skiing. Petter Northug will miss this competition; however fellow Norwegian, Martin Sundby, and Sweden's Johan Olsson have every chance of winning the first gold of their careers in Sochi.
In alpine skiing, the men's super-combined gets underway. First, athletes will compete in the downhill, and then attempt the slalom. Olympic champions Ted Ligety and Bode Miller of the United States and Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal will lead the fight for the medals. Not to be missed is French skier Alexis Pinturault, who has climbed the World Cup podium twice this season, and the leader of the season Marcel Hirscher of Austria.
After the bronze success of Alexander Smyshlyaev in the moguls, the Russian freestyle skiers are hoping to win another medal in the aerials. Hoping for a place on the podium is Assoli Slivets, who competed in the Games in Vancouver, and silver medalist at the 2013 World Cup, Veronika Korsunova. The main rivals will be the Chinese athletes including Mengtao Xu - the winner of the Aerials World Cup for the last two years and the leader of the current standings.
Female skeleton racers will take to the ice again today. After two runs the leader is Elizabeth Yarnold — the winner of the World Cup in 2013/14 season. Noelle Pikus-Pace from USA is the second, 2013 European champion Elena Nikitina is in third place at present.
Male skeleton racers will make two starting runs this Friday. Amongst the favorites are Latvian Martins Dukurs, the World Cup winner of the last five seasons, as well as Russian Alexander Tretyakov — Vancouver bronze medalist and world champion in 2013.
The ski jumping qualifiers are taking place on the large ski jump. Among the contenders for a gold medal there are the Pole Kamil Stoch, Austrian Gregor Schlierenzauer, as well as four-time Olympic champion Simon Ammann from Switzerland.
At the Iceberg, the best men’s figure skaters will be determined. The leader is Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan, who has already set a new world record. In second place is three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada while Javier Fernandez of Spain is in third place. Evgeny Plushenko, Russia’s lone skater, was forced to withdraw from competition during the short program due to an aggravated injury.
Four games in the men's hockey tournament are scheduled for Friday. The meeting of Sweden and Switzerland – countries that played in the last World Cup final is of most interest. The Czech Republic will meet with Latvia, Canada will play Austria, whilst Finland take on Norway.