Men and Women's Speedskating Olympics 2014: What to Watch for on Day 6

Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IFebruary 12, 2014

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 11:  Heather Richardson of the United States competes during the Women's 500m Race 1 of 2 Speed Skating event during day 4 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Adler Arena Skating Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Speedskating action at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia will continue with a slew of events from the Iceberg Skating Palace on Thursday.

Both the men and women will participate throughout the day, but only the ladies will be able to add to the medal count on Day 6.

With plenty of intense competition ahead, here we'll highlight what speedskating fans should be watching for when they awake on Thursday morning. 

 

Day 6 Schedule 

2014 Winter Olympics Speedskating Schedule - Day 6
DateEventStart TimeTV (U.S.)TV (U.K.)
Feb. 13Ladies' 500m Quarterfinals2 p.m. MSK, 5 a.m. ET, 10 a.m. GMTNBCSNBBC Two
Feb. 13Men's 1000m Heats2:25 p.m. MSK, 5:25 a.m. ET, 10:25 a.m. GMTNBCSNBBC Two
Feb. 13Ladies' 500m Semifinals3:10 p.m. MSK, 6:10 a.m. ET, 11:10 a.m. GMTNBCSNBBC Two
Feb. 13Men's 5000m Relay Semifinals3:31 p.m. MSK, 6:31 a.m. ET, 11:31 a.m. GMTNBCSNBBC Two
Feb. 13Ladies' 500m Finals4:05 p.m. MSK, 7:05 a.m. ET, 12:05 p.m. GMTNBCSNBBC Two
Feb. 13Ladies' 1000m Finals6 p.m. MSK, 9 a.m. ET, 2 p.m. GMTNBCSNBBC Two
Sochi2014.com

 

Ladies' 500-Meter Finals

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 10: Marianne St-Gelais of Canada in the Short Track Speed Skating Ladies' 500m heats on day 3 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 10, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Ima
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The first medal event on Thursday will feature some of the best short-track skaters on the planet as the ladies look to crack the podium in the 500 meters. 

The quarterfinals and semifinals earlier in the day will narrow down the competition, but Canada's Marianne St-Gelais is expected to make the cut. The 2010 silver medalist in this event, the 23-year-old St-Gelais, qualified for the quarters with a blistering time of 43.729 seconds.

Italy's Arianna Fontana is also worth keeping an eye on throughout Day 6. Fontana earned bronze behind St-Gelais in Vancouver and was impressive during the heats, posting a time of 43.568 seconds. 

Korea's Seung-Hi Park is another threat to land on the podium on Thursday. 

For Team USA, all hopes will ride on the shoulders of Emily Scott who is the last American standing heading into the quarterfinals of this event.

 

Ladies' 1,000-Meter Finals

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 06:  Heather Richardson of the USA speed skating team speaks at a press conference ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Main Press Center (MPC) on February 6, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

In Thursday's second and final medal event in speedskating, Team USA will aim to crack the podium in the ladies' 1,000 meter.

Team USA will have four skaters total in this event. In addition to favorite Heather Richardson, the Americans will send out Kelly Gunther, Sugar Todd and Brittany Bowe, who took bronze in this event at the 2013 World Single Distance Championships in Sochi. 

While Bowe has a shot at the podium, Richardson has the best chance to bring home gold for the Americans. The 24-year-old won gold at the 2013 World Championships but will have to overcome the stage if she's to secure another gold for the Stars and Stripes.  

She finished eighth in the 500 meters earlier this week, but acknowledged that the effort will likely help her perform better at her preferred distance, per The News & Record's Jeff Mills"It's a good warmup for the 1,000. I just want to go into it as calm as possible, just think of it as another 1,000 to do."

Richardson won't be short on motivation either, as she finished ninth in this event at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

 

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