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Russian hockey players begin the Olympic tournament with a match against Slovakia

© Sergey Bobylev/TASS

PYEONGCHANG /South Korea/, 14 Feb. /TASS./ Six sets of medals will be played on Wednesday at the winter Olympics in South Korea’s Pyeongchang, will determine the Olympic Champions in biathlon, snowboarding, Alpine skiing, Nordic combined, speed skating and Luge. The first matches of the Russian hockey players and karingithi, start competitions of sports pairs figure skating.

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Russian hockey players under the guidance of Oleg Znarka will start at 15:10 GMT the first meeting of the Olympic tournament with the team of Slovakia . Znarka’s wards are in group 16 of February they will play against the Americans, February 17 – the Slovenians. All teams will continue performance in the playoffs, but the winners of the three groups and the best team from among the runners just come out in the 1/4 finals, the rest will have to hold a further meeting.

Four years ago at the Olympics in Sochi, the Russian team met with the same players, although he began the tournament with a match against Slovenia, which confidently won 5:2. However, in the final match of group team, led by Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, unable to beat the Slovaks only in the penalty shots, and the goals to no avail.

In 2014, in Sochi, the Russian team eventually concluded in the 1/4 finals, losing to the Finns. In Pyeongchang, the Russian hockey players are the main favorites, given that the Games in 2018 do not include representatives of the National hockey League (NHL) and the team Znarka players of the strongest clubs in the Kontinental hockey League (KHL), led by recent NHL stars Ilya Kovalchuk and Pavel Datsyuk. 34-year-old Kovalchuk and a 39-year-old Datsyuk will speak at the fifth Olympics, but the medals they won only in 2002 – bronze.

In the Olympic squad Olympic athletes of Russia – 25 persons, 15 of them are SKA from St. Petersburg, who also coached Znarok. This goalkeeper Igor Shesterkin, defenders Artem Tooth, Vladislav Gavrikov, Vyacheslav Voynov, Andrei Zubarev, Yegor Yakovlev, forwards Pavel Datsyuk, Sergei Kalinin, Ilya Kablukov, Sergei Shirokov, Ilya Kovalchuk, Nikolai Prohorchik, Vadim Shipachev, Alexander Barabanov and Nikita Gusev. In part also, CSKA goalkeeper Ilya Sorokin, defenders Alexei Marchenko, Nikita Nesterov and Bogdan Kiselevich, forwards Ivan Telegin, Sergei Andronov, Kirill Whims and Mikhail Grigorenko, as well as the goalkeeper of Magnitogorsk “Metallurgist” Vasily Koshechkin and his teammate, striker Sergei mozyakin.

The coaching staff has already announced that to defend the goal in the match against Slovakia will be a 34-year-old Vasily Koshechkin – the 2009 world champion arrived at his first Olympics.

World Champions in the composition and leadership

Slovakia is headed by 56-year-old American specialist Craig Ramsey, who is assisted by former players Ian LASEK and Vladimir Orsag, and the General Manager is the world champion of 2002 Miroslav Shatan. All players of the Slovak teams compete in local or Czech clubs, with the exception of the defender of club KHL “Avtomobilist” from Yekaterinburg Michal czajkowski.

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In the national team of Slovakia stand out goalkeeper Jan LACO, defenders Ivan Baranka, Starosta Tomasz, Dominik Granak, forwards Ladislav Nagy, Tomas Stern, Marcel Hascak, Martin BAKOS. Almost all the Slovak players have experience of playing in the NHL, but the 38-year-old world champion 2002 Nagy spent eight seasons in the NHL.

Wednesday at 15:10 GMT also will play the teams of USA and Slovenia. Group a men’s Olympic hockey tournament was the national teams of Canada, Czech Republic, Switzerland and South Korea, in the group With teams of Sweden, Finland, Norway and Germany.

If Russian and Slovak hockey players meet at the main hockey arena of the Olympic games in Gangneung, the Americans and the Slovenians will play on the ice arena of the University of Quendon. There will also be two final group match In the women’s tournament at 06:10 MSK will play team Sweden and Switzerland at 10:40 – a combined team of Korea and Japan. The Swedish and Swiss teams have a guaranteed exit in the 1/4 finals.

Starts the command of Moses

Wednesday will start competition in Curling among men’s and women’s teams. Russian Berlingske led skip and Victoria Moiseeva first meeting of the group tournament will be held at 08:05 GMT against a team from the UK. Britons games represent the athletes from Scotland, who at the world championship 2017 in Beijing won a bronze medal. Second place went to team Russia, but at the tournament in the Chinese capital were the other team – Anna Sidorova.

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The team Moiseeva entered Uliana Vasilyeva, Galina Arsenkina, Julia and Julia Gusieva Portonova. In the women’s Curling tournament involved 10 teams. In the first session also meet teams from Japan and the United States, Denmark and Sweden, Switzerland and China. Each session is held for four matches, with the second session on Thursday will fight South Korea and Canada.

According to the results odnorangovogo of the group stage (14-21 February) the four best teams proceed to semi-finals matches which will be held February 23. The match for third place scheduled for February 24, the final on February 25.

In the men’s tournament will also play 10 teams – great Britain, Denmark, Italy, Canada, Norway, USA, Switzerland, Sweden, South Korea and Japan. The competition will be held according to the same formula, semi-finals men will play on February 22, match for third place – February 23, with the final planned for February 24.

Couples first

At 04:00 Moscow time will start the short program at sports pairs, with performances of Russian skaters Kristina Astakhova and Alexei Rogonov (7th bib number), Natalia Subiaco and Alexander Enbert (20th) and Evgenia Tarasova and Vladimir Morozov (last, 22nd). Subiaco with Alberta Tarasova and Morozov won the silver medal in the team tournament.

The main favourite in this kind of program is a pair from Germany Aliona Savchenko / Bruno Masso, who in December became the winners of the Grand Prix final. In their absence at the January European championship in Moscow won Tarasova and Morozov, on the podium rose two other Russian pair – Ksenia Stolbova / Fedor Klimov and Subiaco/ Enbert. However, Stolbova was not invited by the International Olympic Committee to participate in the Games in Pyeongchang.

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Among the contenders for Olympic medals in the pairs competition – the winners of the Grand Prix final sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China, and Canadians Megan Duhamel and Eric Radford, who became Olympic Champions in Pyeongchang team tournament. Free program at sports pairs is scheduled for February 15.

14:05 start individual race at the biathlon women 15 km away, where at the start there are Russians Tatyana Akimova and Uliana Kaisheva. In the current Cup season, individual races were held in Ostersund, Sweden and German Ruhpolding and ended with the victory of the Belarusian Hope Scardino and Italians Dorothea wierer.

Last season all three individual races, including world Championships, won the German Laura Dallmeier. In Pyeongchang, she’s already won the sprint and pursuit. Four years ago in Sochi individual race was won by Darya Domracheva of Belarus, who claims the first victory in Pyeongchang.

The Return Of The Flying Tomato

At 04:30 GMT will start the first of the final three attempts in the halfpipe in men. On the eve of training showed the best result 31-year-old American freestyle skier Shaun white. The Flying Tomato – the Olympic champion in 2006 and 2010, which suspended after a failed career Games in 2014 and was involved in acting and musical activity. White returned to the sport for the next Olympics and is a tournament favorite in the halfpipe.

Russian freestyle skier Nikita Avtaev eve failed to pass the qualification of the 20th result, while in the final 12 participants.

Competitions in Alpine skiing will continue the women’s slalom. The first attempt is scheduled for 04:15 GMT, the second – 07:45. To start out the Russian skier Ekaterina Tkachenko, who at the world Cup did not rise above 26-th place. The leader of the season in slalom is an Olympic champion and Sochi in the form of American Mikaela Shiffrin, competition it can make Slovak Peter Vegova.

At 14:20 GMT will start the first of two attempts from men on sleds, the second attempt is scheduled for 15:30. First start of the Russian Luge Vladislav Antonov and Alexander Denisov, 15th starting number was given to Andrey Bogdanov and Andrey Medvedev. The Denisov and Antonov took eighth place in the standings for two at the world Cup, while the main favourites in this type are the German Luger Toni Eggert and Sascha Benecken, and two-time Olympic Champions Sochi Tobias wendl and Tobias Arlt.

The start of the tournament Nordic combined

On Wednesday in Pyeongchang will start competition at the Nordic combined at 07:45 will be jumping from the middle of the ramp, at 11:45 planned pursuit 10 km At the start among the 48 participants will be Russian doeberitz Ernest Yakhin. The leaders of this season are the silver prize-winner Games in Sochi by Japanese Akito Watabe and 34-year-old Norwegian Jan Schmid, has won in the current season and the Olympic champion 2014 in this German Eric Frenzel.

The next medals will be awarded in speed skating – 1000m women where to start out Russian athlete angelina Golikova, which in the standings this race is in the 15th place in the world Cup. The leader of the season this is a Japanese Nao Kodaira, on separate stages, won multiple world champion American Heather Richardson-Bergsma and Hjørring Ter Mors from the Netherlands. In January in Kolomna European champion in the 1000m was the Russian skater Ekaterina Shikhova, but she did not receive from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) invitation to the Games in Pyeongchang.

Start at 1000-meter distance and Olympic champion and Sochi in the view of Chinese Zhang Hong, as well as the winners Pyeongchang on 1500 m Irene Wust of the Netherlands, Japanese Miho Takagi and another Dutchwoman Marit Lenstra.

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