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Olympics: Nigerian women make history in bobsleigh finals

American downhill racer Lyndsey Vonn goes for gold in Alpine skiing while the battle of the Russian teenage princesses opens in women’s figure skating Wednesday.

Team leader and driver Seun Adigun of Nigeria take a turn during the first unofficial bobsleigh women training session at the Olympic Sliding Centre ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 7, 2018. / AFP

Seven gold medals are on offer on day 12 of the Pyeongchang Olympics. Here are the highlights:

– Alpine skiing –
American Lindsey Vonn won the Olympic downhill gold medal in Vancouver eight year ago and missed the 2014 Sochi Olympics through injury. At 33 she remains the favourite in the most testing alpine discipline. Vonn showed in three training sessions she still has the pace and passion and could break the record for oldest female medallist in alpine skiing, set by Austrian Michaela Dorfmeister in 2006 at the age of 32 years and 332 days.

– Figure skating –
Evgenia Medvedeva, 18, is tipped to clinch the title by her many admirers. But her 15-year-old training partner Alina Zagitova is a serious threat. The 2018 Winter Games gold medal appeared to be Medvedeva’s to lose until she broke her foot in October, sidelining her for over two months and allowing Zagitova to seize her chance to take centre stage. In a sensational first season as a senior, she swept all before her, culminating in defeat for a fit-again Medvedeva at the European championships in Moscow in January. The competition between them promises to be compelling.

– Freestyle skiing –
Switzerland’s Marc Bischofberger goes into the Olympic men’s ski cross competition as a favourite with three straight World Cup victories. The Canadians are strong and will be inspired by Cassie Sharpe’s victory for Canada on Tuesday in the halfpipe. Also looking for a podium finish is Frenchman Jean-Frederic Chapuis, the defending champion, who led a French sweep of the medals in 2104.

– Bobsleigh –
Nigeria’s women make history in the finals of the bobsleigh as the West African nation’s first representatives at a Winter Olympics. Seun Adigun, Akuoma Omeoga and Ngozi Onwumere make up the team for the women’s bobsleigh and don’t count themselves among the favourites. They are just hoping to come home in one piece. “It’s very similar to being thrown down a hill in a trash can — you just don’t really know where you’ll end up sometimes,” Seun told AFP.

– Ice hockey –
The United States, who have not won an Olympic gold medal since 1980, play the unbeaten Czech Republic in the quarter-finals of the men’s ice hockey tournament. The young Americans without their NHL stars could come unstuck against a tough Czech outfit looking for their first Olympic title in two decades. Later in the day in other quarter-finals, the Russians, under the neutral name OAR, take on Norway while Sweden play Germany and defending champions Canada meet Finland.

cw/dh

© Agence France-P


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