Winter Olympics: Thursday in Beijing – Valieva looks to seal second gold

By Sports Desk February 16, 2022 1755

Kamila Valieva takes to the ice looking to secure her second figure skating medal of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games on Thursday.

The Russian teenager was controversially cleared to continue competing this week despite testing positive for performance-enhancing drug trimetazidine in December.

Valieva won a team figure skating gold last week before her positive test was revealed and is on course to win the singles title after leading the way in the short program routine on Tuesday.

Another teen sensation, China's Eileen Gu – who has already won freeski big air gold and slopestyle silver - begins her quest for a third medal in Beijing as the women's freeski halfpipe qualification gets underway.

Stats Perform takes a look at Thursday's upcoming medal events:

Alpine skiing

The women's alpine program ends with the combined event, with 2018 Olympic champion Michelle Gisin from Switzerland hoping to become the third woman to successfully defend the title after Janica Kostelic of Croatia (2002-2006) and Maria Hofl-Riesch of Germany (2010-2014).

We could see Mikaela Shiffrin's redemption story after the American, who has had a Games to forget so far, crashed out of the giant slalom and slalom, before finishing ninth in the super G and 18th in the downhill.

A silver medallist at PyeongChang 2018, Shiffrin is also the reigning world champion, and achieved the best time in training on Wednesday.

Figure skating

Valieva leads the way in the women's single skating event after receiving 82.16 points in the short program on Tuesday.

The 15-year-old is ahead of another Russian, Anna Shcherbakova (80.20) and Japan's Kaori Sakamoto (79.84) heading into Thursday's free skate.

Freestyle skiing

In the women's ski cross event, all eyes will be on Sweden's Sandra Naeslund. She has won eight out of nine races of this season's World Cup, including the final event before the Olympics last month.

Marielle Thompson of Canada, the 2014 Olympic champion, is the only other woman to have won a World Cup event this season, and she will be hoping to complete an inspirational return after rupturing her ACL in her right knee last March.

The qualification for the men's and women's freeski halfpipe begin, with Gu aiming to win another medal in front of her adoring fans in Beijing, with the women's final set to take place on Friday.

Ice hockey

The anticipated women's gold medal game between Canada and the United States takes place on Thursday.

Both teams comfortably made it to the final on Monday after Canada beat Switzerland 10-3 and USA overcame Finland 4-1 in the semis.

The rivals have already played each other in Beijing, with the Canadians winning 4-2 in the group stage.

Nordic combined

The final event of the Nordic combined, the team Gundersen large hill 4x5km relay, will see Norway's team of Joergen Graabak, Jens Luraas Oftebro, Espen Bjoernstad and Espen Andersen looking to increase their nation's dominance.

Norway (three) is the only country to have won more than one Nordic combined medal so far, but they will likely face competition from the other nations to medal: Germany, Austria and Japan.

Speed skating

In the women's 1000m, we will certainly have a new champion after Jorien ter Mors of the Netherlands, who won gold in 2018, recently retired.

Fellow Dutch skater Jutta Leerdam, the 2019 world champion, is her nation's best hope, while United States duo Brittany Bowe and Erin Jackson, who won gold in the 500m, are also among the favourites.

Japan's Miho Takagi could become the third reigning world sprint champion to win Olympic 1000m gold after Karin Kania-Enke of Germany and American Bonnie Blair.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 16 February 2022 10:30
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