Today at PyeongChang 2018: Friday 23 February
The women’s figure skating competition reaches its conclusion with the free skate at the Gangneung Ice Arena. Elsewhere there are golds to be won in the men’s 4x7.5km biathlon relay, the women’s ski cross, and the men’s 1,000m in speed skating. Also up for grabs is the men’s curling bronze.
Figure skating, women’s free programme: 10:00 local time
Olympic Athlete from Russia Evgenia Medvedeva is the favourite to succeed Adelina Sotnikova as Olympic champion. As well as holding the world record for the women’s short programme, free skate and combined total scores, she is the two-time reigning world champion and a 2016 and 2017 ISU Grand Prix Final winner. Previously unbeaten since 2015, she lost that record just three weeks before PyeongChang, coming off second best to 15-year-old junior world champion and compatriot Alina Zagitova at the European Championships in Moscow. Whatever happens on the ice, this event is likely to attract millions of viewers worldwide, as one of the highpoints of the Olympic Winter Games.
Freestyle skiing, women’s ski cross: 10:00 local time
This winter’s outstanding performer has been Swedish 21-year-old Sandra Näslund, who has added a string of World Cup wins to the world title she lifted in Sierra Nevada (ESP) in March 2017. Also hoping to impress at Bokwang Phoenix Park are Switzerland’s Fanny Smith, France’s Marielle Berger Sabatell and Ophélie David, Heidi Zacher of Germany, and the Canadians Georgia Simmerling, Brittany Phelan and Kelsey Serwa - Sochi 2014 silver medallist. One notable absentee will be Canada’s Marielle Thompson, the reigning Olympic champion and 2017 crystal globe winner, who is recovering from an injury sustained last October.
Curling, men’s bronze medal match: 15:35 local time
The two losing semi-finalists have the chance to win bronze as a consolation prize. Sweden’s team, skipped by Niklas Edin, claimed bronze at Sochi 2014 with victory over a Chinese quartet led by Liu Rui. At last year’s World Championships in Edmonton (CAN), Switzerland took the bronze at the expense of the USA. The match will be followed in the evening by the two women’s semi-finals.
Speed skating, men’s 1,000m: 19:00 local time
The 1,000m will see athletes compete in pairs against the clock over two-and-a-half laps of the Gangneung Oval. One man to watch in an otherwise open event is the USA’s Shani Davis, who won gold in 2006 and 2010 but could finish no higher than eighth in Sochi. The Netherlands’ Kjeld Nuis and Koen Verwiej will also have their sights trained on victory after coming through the tough Dutch national trials earlier this winter.
Biathlon, men’s 4x7.5km relay: 20:15 local time
Norway is the dominant men’s relay force right now, though anything can happen in an event where medals can hinge on the weather and what happens at the shooting range. Athletes have three spare bullets in each shooting round, with the dreaded penalty loop being the punishment for any missed targets. Russia are the reigning Olympic and world champions, and a tight-knit Olympic Athletes from Russia quartet will fancy their chances this time around. Germany, France, Sweden, Austria, Italy and the Czech Republic should also feature prominently.