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

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Men and Women's Speedskating Olympics 2014: What to Watch for on Day 6
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
Date Event Start Time TV (U.S.) TV (U.K.)
Feb. 13 Ladies' 500m Quarterfinals 2 p.m. MSK, 5 a.m. ET, 10 a.m. GMT NBCSN BBC Two
Feb. 13 Men's 1000m Heats 2:25 p.m. MSK, 5:25 a.m. ET, 10:25 a.m. GMT NBCSN BBC Two
Feb. 13 Ladies' 500m Semifinals 3:10 p.m. MSK, 6:10 a.m. ET, 11:10 a.m. GMT NBCSN BBC Two
Feb. 13 Men's 5000m Relay Semifinals 3:31 p.m. MSK, 6:31 a.m. ET, 11:31 a.m. GMT NBCSN BBC Two
Feb. 13 Ladies' 500m Finals 4:05 p.m. MSK, 7:05 a.m. ET, 12:05 p.m. GMT NBCSN BBC Two
Feb. 13 Ladies' 1000m Finals 6 p.m. MSK, 9 a.m. ET, 2 p.m. GMT NBCSN BBC Two

Ladies' 500-Meter Finals

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

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.

Where will Heather Richardson finish in the ladies' 1,000 meters?

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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.

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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