SOCHI, Russia, Feb 21 (Reuters) - The women’s slalom title is up for grabs at the Winter Olympics on Friday while the men’s ice hockey semifinal between Canada and the United States looks certain to thrill fans in North America and beyond.
U.S. teenager Mikaela Shiffrin has ambitions of becoming the youngest Olympic slalom champion - Austria’s Marlies Schild would be the oldest. Slovenia’s Tina Maze can equal Janica Kostelic’s record of three Alpine golds at one Games.
In total, there are seven golds to be won in Sochi, with the slalom the last race in the women’s skiing programme before Sunday’s closing ceremony.
In the ice hockey, neighbours Canada and the United States will meet in a rematch of the 2010 Vancouver final won by the Canadians on a golden goal from Sidney Crosby.
The other semifinal is also a gold-medal rematch with Finland and Sweden clashing just as they did in the 2006 Turin final won by the Swedes.
Canada face Britain in the men’s curling final, seeking to emulate their women’s team who beat Sweden to win gold on Thursday.
Canada will be hoping for more freestyle skiing success when World Cup leader Marielle Thompson takes on the field in the rough and tumble of the women’s ski cross.
There are three golds to be won in the unpredictable sport of short-track speed skating where the favourites can often get bumped out of contention.
Viktor Ahn, competing for Russia, seeks to add to his haul of four Olympic gold medals in the 500 metres and 5,000-metre men’s relay, while Elise Christie hunts Britain’s first Olympic short track gold in the women’s 1,000 metres.
Norway look to claim a fourth biathlon gold medal when their women start the relay as the hot favourites. (Writing by Keith Weir; editing by Robert Woodward)