Sochi 2014 weather


By Duncan Mackay and Nick Butler in Sochi
Click refresh for latest updates. All times stated are Russian

Good night!

00:24 And there will be much more to come tomorrow with five gold medals to be won - including the return of the snowboard cross!

See you then.

It's been a day of huge drama here in Sochi. Double gold for Poland as well as the host nation Russia while titles have also been won by China and Sweden.

But the highlight of the day was undoubtedly an ice hockey thriller between Russia and the US which went down to a penalty shoot out. 

BREAKING NEWS: Serious injury for Russian freestyle skier (see below at 14:20, 14:52 17:27 and 19:44 for more details) but a six hour operation is deemed a success. Read our report here.

Ski Jumping Final

It is also a second gold medal today for Poland following their speed skating victory earlier on. They are one of six countries to have won four gold medals but - fairly remarkably - they are yet to win either a silver or a bronze.

Kamil Stoch celebrates his second gold medal of the Games ©AFP/Getty ImagesKamil Stoch celebrates his second gold medal of the Games ©AFP/Getty Images

23:52 Sochi 2014 gold medal
Kamil Stoch of Poland becomes the third man to win double individual ski jumping gold in a single Olympics!

A brilliant performance by Noriaki Kasai of Japan to claim silver - in his seventh Olympics - while bronze goes to Peter Prevc of Slovenia. 

There will be extra significance to those who won here today because - to mark the anniversary of the Chelyabinsk meteorite striking Russia last year - they will be awarded special souvenir gold medals embedded with pieces of the meteorite.

Click here to read more information about this in an insidethegames article earlier this month.

Marinus Kraus of Germany is the current leader in the final round of the ski jumping. Still all the leaders to come but delays at the moment due to strong winds. Certainly the latest finish of the Games to come I feel...

Some final results in ice hockey as world champions Sweden eventually defeat Latvia 5-3 which there is no change in the other match as Switzerland beat Czech Republic 1-0.

The only other action still ongoing comes in men's ice hockey - where Switzerland currently lead the Czech Republic 1-0 while Sweden are 4-3 up on Latvia.

Atmosphere not quite as loud as earlier on in the Bolshoy Ice Dome, I hear. Funny that...

Ski Jumping

End of the first round of the final and Kamil Stoch of Poland goes into the lead with a mammoth 139 metres and 143.4 points. 

Polish favourite Kamil Stoch celebrates after taking the lead in the first round of the ski jumping final ©AFP/Getty ImagesPolish favourite Kamil Stoch celebrates after taking the lead in the first round of the ski jumping final ©AFP/Getty Images

The Pole is bidding to become only the third man to win the normal and large hill in the same Games.

Second place at the halfway point is Noriaki Kasai of Japan with Severin Freund of Germany third. 

All change on the first round leaderboard as Anssi Kiovuranta of Finland takes over the lead. Second is Gregor Deschwanden of Switzerland while in third place is Anders Fannamel of Norway. But expect plenty more change to come...

Back here in Sochi and Reruhi Shimizu of Japan is the new leader.

Pole vault world record for Lavillenie

twitter logoSo happy for Renaud. So happy it happened in my home city. Bravo Renaud
- A sporting reaction from Sergey Bubka as his 21 year pole vault world record is finally broken.

21:59 A brief brief from the ski jumping and the Winter Olympics to bring you some other jumping related news. IOC Executive Board member Sergey Bubka 21 year old indoor pole vault mark has been broken, fittingly enough, in Bubka's home city of Donetsk.

Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie of France clearing a whopping 6.16 metres! The highest clearance ever seen indoors or out. 

Large hill ski jumping

21:55 All we have left now in terms of medals here is ski jumping tonight but it is perhaps the most jaw-dropping event at the Winter Olympics. And that is saying quite something.

The early leader is Roman Koudelka of the Czech Republic. 

Remember two jumps for each - with marks awarded for style as well as distance. So Koudelka, with 128 metres, is only the second longest jumper so far but leads due to better marks from the judges. 

Evening session

21:49 Sweden have won the final curling match of the evening 7-6 over the US. They needed that after losing to China earlier. 

A disappointing loss for Great Britain earlier on when they were beaten 8-6 by Switzerland. After their good win earlier China also lost surprisingly 9-6 to Denmark. You can't win 'em all, as the old saying goes.

Except for Canada that as they kept up their 100 per cent record with a 5-3 win over Russia. 

21:44 With that latest gold, Russia have also leapfrogged four countries and gone into third place on the medals table. Only Germany and Switzerland lie ahead...

Crowds ahead of the late night ski jumping final ©AFP/Getty ImagesCrowds ahead of the late night ski jumping final ©AFP/Getty Images

21:39 In case you are wondering, the ski jumping final is yet to begin. A 15 minute delay because of the wind. It's set to be a late one but - after surely the most pulsating day of Sochi 2014 so far - it will also be a grand finale.

21:30 There may have been huge disappointment for Russia in the ice hockey earlier - but they have taken two other gold medals today in short track speed skating and now skeleton. 

Alexander Tretiakov zooms to Russia's fourth gold medal of the Games ©AFP/Getty ImagesAlexander Tretiakov zooms to Russia's fourth gold medal of the Games
©AFP/Getty Images

21:20 The US are all over the comebacks today. They are doing it in curling now as well as they take the lead over Sweden. Canada are 5-3 up on Russia, Switzerland are still edging Britain 7-6 while China are 6-5 up on Denmark.

Skeleton gold for Russia

21:12 Sochi 2014 gold medalThere it is. Another gold medal for Russia. A superb performance by Alexander Tretiakov to win by almost a second.

Martins Dukurs of Latvia may dominate the World Cup standings but he has missed out on Olympic gold again. He takes silver, while Matthew Antoine of the US holds on for bronze.

In fourth place is Tomass Dukurs - brother of Martins. 

21:01 Getting towards the business end in the skeleton now. Just the three medal contenders to come.

20:58 Before the evening medals action truly begins a chance to catch up with some of the best Olympic related photos posted online over the last 24 hours or so...

Canada's Mike Riddle posts a picture ahead of his first ski training session ©Mike Riddle/InstagramCanada's Mike Riddle posts a picture ahead of his first ski halfpipe training session...where he will be among the favourites for gold 
©Mike Riddle/Instagram
Dutch speed skater Koen Verweij on his way to lunch with his bro US speed skater Shani Davies ©Koen Verweij/FacebookDutch speed skater Koen Verweij on his way to lunch with his bro US speed skater Shani Davies ©Koen Verweij/Facebook

A Valentines Day message from the British team ©Chloe Gilmartin/InstagramA Valentines Day message from the British team ©Chloe Gilmartin/Instagram

Russia's ice hockey team also share the Valentines Day love ©Sochi 2014/InstagramRussia's ice hockey team also share the Valentines Day love
©Sochi 2014/Instagram

20:56 As well as the skeleton, the men's large hill ski jumping is just getting underway while we also have the latest round of medal presentations in the Olympic Park. 

20:46 It got a bit lost in the ice hockey furore but Poland's Zbigniew Brodka won a thrilling 1,500m speed skating event earlier on.  And Poland could win another gold medal later courtesy of ski jumper Kamil Stoch...

Zbigniew Brodka won speed skating gold for Poland by the narrowest of margins ©Getty ImagesZbigniew Brodka won speed skating gold for Poland by the narrowest of margins
©Getty Images

More injury concerns...but less serious

20:35 Following the tragic incident involving Russian skier Maria Komissarova earlier, news of another injury, although thankfully this one does not appear to be so serious.

Germany's Alpine skier Felix Neureuther, one one of medal favourites, suffered whiplash in a car crash yesterday and has been forced to delay his departure for Sochi by a day.

Neureuther was driving to airport in Munich early yesterday when he hit a patch of ice, lost control and hit the barrier, but was able to drive on, according to his father, Christian Neureuther, a three-time Olympian skier himself.

Instead of flying to Sochi, Neureuther went to see a doctor in Munich, who determined he had suffered whiplash but no bone injuries.

His girlfriend, biathlon star Miriam Goessner, who was in the car, told German media she called the police in Neureuther's native Garmisch-Partenkirchen to report the accident. Goessner is not competing in Sochi because of a back injury.

The Munich prosecutor's office said it had opened an investigation into whether Neureuther had fled the scene of an accident and to determine how much time had elapsed between the accident and the call to the police. The skier was free to travel.

Police said there was minor damage to the guardrail and that small car particles were found at the scene of the accident. Neureuther is an expected medal contender in Wednesday's Olympic giant slalom, and in the slalom race that closes the Alpine programme next weekend.

Germany's chief Alpine coach Wolfgang Maier said the team was "relatively optimistic" that Neureuther would be able to race as scheduled.

Evening Session

20:18 We are underway in the final round of the skeleton. As with last night the competitors go in reverse order and their four scores are combined into a total time. So in other words, expect a lot of changes of the lead, and not much medal action for a while yet.

twitter logoWas that a gold medal game? Felt like it! We're calling it the 'Marathon on Ice': . #USAvsRUS
- The United States Olympic Committee are unsurprisingly a little over-excited following their stunning ice hockey triumph over Russia earlier.

20:04 Into the evening session here and that can only mean one thing. More curling action. Sweden, Canada, Switzerland and China lead the US, Russia, Great Britain and Denmark respectively in the latest round of women's matches.

Successful operation for injured skier

19:44 Some more good news this evening after it is announced that Russian freestyle skier Maria Komissarova has undergone a successful six-hour operation on her broken and dislocated spine following her training accident earlier today. 

Mikhail Verzeba, a spokesman for the Russian freestyle ski federation, says Komissarova fractured the 12th dorsal vertebrae in her lower-middle back and had emergency surgery today.

She was treated at a hospital close to the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park and the decision was made to operate on her there instead of transporting her down the mountain.

Another Russian gold medal chance

19:32 Russia may have just lost the ice hockey. But they could win their second gold of the day later on. After three of the four runs in the skeleton, Alexander Tretiakov leads by 0.54 of a second. 

Perennial rival Martins Dukurs of Latvia is second with Matthew Antoine of the US third. There are still competitors out on the course at the Sanki Sliding Centre but all the big names have completed their third runs. 

19:28 Wow! We are going to need a few moments to draw our breath after the last hour. But do not go anywhere - skeleton, curling and ski jumping all coming up this evening. 

19:23 TJ Oshie scored four of the eight shoot out goals and is the hero as the US secure the most thrilling of ice hockey victories over Russia. 

TJ Oshie is the hero as the US beat Russia ©Getty ImagesTJ Oshie is the hero as the US beat Russia ©Getty Images

19:19 A simply unbelievable hour in Sochi. It is the US who hold their nerve. TJ Oshie holds his nerve, spins to the left, then the right, and then powers the ball through the legs of Sergey Bobrovski to win the match.

19:16 The US have won. Silence. 

Sochi 2014 gold medal19:12 Zbigniew Brodka of Poland wins the 1,500m speed skating. And Russia score again in the shoot out!

It's just three thousands of a second the winning margin for the Pole over Dutchman Koen Werweij. Bronze for Denny Morrison of Canada. 

19:10 More misses in the shoot out but Russia finally score. One goal apiece.

19:09 It's three thousands of a second but Poland's Brodka still leads. Two misses in the shoot out so far after the US scored their first. 

19:07 Unbelievable scenes. We have a tie in the speed skating! We are waiting for the times to be readjusted but Koen Werweij has gone level...

19:06 Penalty shoot out in the ice hockey. Has a game with this much build up ever delivered quite so magnificently?

19:04 Denis Yuskov goes third in the speed skating. Could be another Russian medal. Poland and Canada still out in front with only two skaters left.

19:02 There are some tired players out there on the ice now. Some on the floor, pucks being missed - but this is utterly pulsating. Sport and the Olympics at its best... Still 2-2 

19:00 Third run of the men's skeleton is just starting but we've got a few other things to clear up before focusing on that. Zbigniew Brodka of Poland takes the speed skating lead. 

18:58 Chances at both ends in overtime in the ice hockey. But 2-2 it remains.

Russia celebrate making it 2-2 against the US ©Getty ImagesRussia celebrate making it 2-2 against the US ©Getty Images

18:53 We are into overtime in this thrilling hockey match. Russia's women are out, by the way, after losing 2-0 to Switzerland. The Swiss will face Canada in one semi-final while Sweden will take on the US in the other. 

18:49 Denny Morrison of Canada has taken the speed skating lead. Tuitert still second and then Norway's Havard Bokko slots into third. 

Still 2-2 in the ice hockey in the final moments of the third period.

18:43 No they have not. A long conversation between the officials and the decision is no goal. It remains 2-2. Why was it not allowed? A high stick, a high post? No one seems quite sure. 

18:42 But no one is paying attention to that here in Sochi - because Russia have SCORED again! Or have they...

18:41 We have a new leader in the speed skating but, would you believe, its another Dutchman. Mark Tuitert clocks 1 min 45.12 secs.

18:39 Hearing reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in time to see his country make it 2-2. Will he see a winner?

18:38 This is turning into an epic. Another roar goes up, as Russia secure the equaliser. A power-driver of a shot by Pavel Datsyuk - his second of the game.

18:34 In the speed skating it remains a Dutch lead over 1,500m, in fact a Dutch 1-2, with Stefan Groothuis ahead of Jan Blokhuijsen.

Mirko Nenzi of Italy is third and - more bad news for Russia - because Aleksey Yezin is only sixth. 

US take the lead...

18:30 Heartbreak at Bolshoy because the US have scored. Joe Pavelski drills the puck into the net and celebrates wildly. What a fightback under immense pressure by the Americans.

More Dutch success in speed skating?

18:10 There was talk that the US v Russia ice hockey battle might be replicated in the speed-skating this evening - with US star Shani Davis and Russian world champion Denis Yuskov among the 1,500m contenders. 

They are both still to come but - surprise surprise - it is the Netherlands leading at the moment courtesy of Stefan Groothuis. 

IOC member updates...

twitter logo
"Men's hockey USA vs Russia. I feel like Im watching Miracle!!"
- Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry is among many enjoying the ice hockey action. 

twitter logo
"Ingemarsdotter + Wikén + Haag + Kalla = GULD!!!!!"
- Swede Stefan Holm is more excited about Sweden's thrilling women's cross country relay victory earlier on - their first gold of the Games. 

Russia level with US in ice hockey after second period

 It is 1-1 and all to play for here at the end of the second period. Over at the Shayba Arena, Switzerland still lead Russia 1-0 in the women's quarter-final playoff match.

Sochi 2014 chief Dmitry Chernyshenko is among those enjoying the action - until the US scored that is - he has just posted this photo.

The ice hockey as pictured by Sochi 2014 chief Dmitry Chernyshenko ©TwitterThe ice hockey as pictured by Sochi 2014 chief Dmitry Chernyshenko ©Twitter

The crowd has gone a bit quiet. And that is because Cam Fowler has brought the US level with a close range tap in. Game on. 

You would not have thought it possible but the noise inside the Bolshoy Ice Dome is now even louder... Will the US be able to claw a way back into this match?

Pavel Datsyuk celebrates after putting Russia ahead ©Getty ImagesPavel Datsyuk celebrates after putting Russia ahead ©Getty Images

Suit you, sir!

17:41 The United States speed skating team are switching from their Armour skin suits they had been using here to ones they had competed in during the World Cup.

The US entered the competition with high hopes of winning several medals at Adler Arena but their best result so far has been seventh by Heather Richardson in the 1,000m.

"For the remainder of the Winter Olympic Games, team USA speed skaters will be wearing the previously approved Under Armour skinsuits used during recent world cup competition," US Speed skating President Mike Plant said in a statement today

"Under Armour provided US Speedskating with three different suit configurations in advance of Sochi, and we have full confidence in the performance benefits of each of them.

"We are constantly evaluating all aspects of race preparation and execution to help our athletes improve their output and maximise their physical and psychological advantages."

USA speed skating coach Kip Carpenter is not expecting a dramatic improvement in the team's performances, however. "A skater does not lose a second [on the 1000m] because of a skinsuit," he said after training. "Anyone who thinks that, does not know speed skating. In my opinion, the Dutch are just sitting deeper and pushing harder. They are just skating better than us."

Score update

17:38 I spoke too soon. For the first time in the Olympics, to my knowledge, a roar goes up around the Main Press Centre as Pavel Datsyuk scores to give Russia the lead. 1-0!

It is fair to say that the goal has been coming...

17:37 The longer version of speed skating is about to get underway but the last hour or so has been all about ice hockey. Still 0-0 between Russia and US, but Russia's women trail 1-0 in their quarter final play off to Switerland.

Injury update

17:27 A few more details emerging about the injury news we brought you earlier (at 14:20 and 14:52) concerning Russian freestyle skier Maria Komissarova. The 23-year-old is currently being operated on after injuring her back in a training crash this morning. 

 Although the decision was made that she could not be transported to Moscow because she required immediate surgery. consultations with a medical team in the capital were held before surgery began.

The ongoing operation was made more difficult because the ski-cross athletes spine was dislocated, a source told Ria Novosti while Komissarova was also apparently awake and experiencing extreme pain when first brought into Krasnaya Polyanskaya Hospital.

We will bring you more updates as soon as we hear further details. 

Ice hockey: US v Russia

17:24 Back underway in the second period of the ice hockey - and another sign of the appeal of the match is that the entire IOC members section is full. That does not happen too often...

17:12 We have come to the end of the first period in this most eagerly anticipated of matches. Russia have had the better of the chances but still locked at 0-0. Still a brutal, unrelenting and physical game and not sure if either side will be able to keep this intensity up for much longer. 

Great to see US and Russian flags side by side in the ice hockey...but no quarter is being given on the ice ©Getty ImagesGreat to see US and Russian flags side by side in the ice hockey...but no quarter is being given on the ice ©Getty Images

16:56 Meanwhile, it was Canada who took the men's curling win earlier on - edging out Great Britain 7-4. Sweden ousted Germany 8-4 and China overcame Russia 9-6. Been a good day for China on the ice with two curling wins and a short track gold!

China and Sweden are tied top of the men's standings with Canada and Britain joint third. 

16:54 Blake Wheeler of the US is sent to the bin for a trip but Russia are yet to capitalise. Still 0-0.

16:45 Now this sport! A frenetic opening in an unbelievable atmosphere in the Bolshoy Ice Dome. Punches have already been exchanged between players, but it remains 0-0 for the time being. 

16:38 And what better way to start the ice hockey than Russian gold and silver elsewhere!

Short track gold for China and Russia

Raucous celebrations by the home fans as Victor An leads home a short track 1-2 ©AFP/Getty ImagesRaucous celebrations by the home fans as Victor An leads home a short track 1-2 ©AFP/Getty Images

Sochi 2014 gold medal16:33 A Russian 1-2 in the men's 1,000m. The crowd goes wild as Victor An leads home Vladimir Grigorev! Sjinkie Knegt takes bronze for the Netherlands. 

16:30 Sweden lead Germany and China lead Russia in men's curling. It is now Canada 6-5 up on Great Britain but "going with serve" so to speak. Can there be a more nail-biting sport?

16:28 Not only has Zhou Yang defended her 1,500m title but it is her third Olympic gold medal after she also formed part of China's victorious relay team at Vancouver 2010.

Zhou Yang celebrates Chinese gold over 1,500m ©AFP/Getty ImagesZhou Yang celebrates Chinese gold over 1,500m ©AFP/Getty Images

Sochi 2014 gold medal16:18 Multiple changes of the lead but it is Zhou Yang of China who wins the gold medal. Shim Suk-hee of South Korea takes silver and Ariana Fontana of Italy the bronze. 

Or not, it's a false start.

16:15 Great Britain pull it back to 5-5 in the curling against Canada - if Britain win they are guaranteed a semi-final slot - and we are underway in the women's 1,500m short track final!

16:09 Excitement building here in Sochi with half an hour to go until the US v Russia in ice hockey!

Before that we have some serious short track speed skating medals action to sort out...

16:02 First curling result of the afternoon as Switzerland beat Denmark 9-2. Canada have edged 5-4 ahead against Great Britain.

15:54 Another Russian victory as Victor An wins the second semi final. Wu Dajing of China also through to the final. Women's 1,500m final to come...

15:52 Sweden, Switzerland and China all leading now in men's curling. Still 4-4 between Canada and Great Britain.

15:48 More excitement in short track. Vladimir Grigorev of Russia wins the first 1,000m semi-final ahead of Sin Da-woon of South Korea while another Korean - Lee Han-bin is disqualified. 

Where will Putin go next?

Quote graphic"Putin has not yet dropped in on the Team GB office in the Main Press Centre...but there is still time and we live in hope."
- British Olympic Association communications director Darryl Seibel remains optimistic of a special visit - after Putin visited both USA and Canada House.

Afternoon action

Always a precarious sport - favourite Charlies Hamelin and US hope Eduardo Alvarez each crashed out - quite literally - in the 1,000m quarter finals earlier on. 

Charles Hamelin of Canada is among those to crash in the speed skating ©Toronto Star/Getty ImagesCharles Hamelin of Canada is among those to crash in the speed skating
©Toronto Star/Getty Images

Zhou Yang of China and Arianna Fontana of Italy win the first two semi finals of the 1,500m short-track speed skating. Li Jianrou of China wins the third so expect more Chinese speed skating success later on.

Men's action in curling this afternoon and Sweden are 5-1 ahead of Germany while Switzerland lead Denmark 6-2. It's 4-4 between Britain and Canada while China have edged 5-3 up on Russia.

15:15 Elsewhere, we are onto the women's 1,500m semi-finals now in short-track speed skating after heats earlier on. It is also the 1,000m men's competition this afternoon. 

There has already been more disappointment for Great Britain's Elise Christie after she was disqualified again in the 1,500m heats. This follows her disqualification from the 500m final after she initially placed second. "She is skating quickly which is a good omen for her best 1,000m event still to come" it is claimed. Hmmm

Swedes take cross country glory

That race certainly merits two pictures.

Sensational stuff! Sweden win their first gold medal of the Games - but it is a third medal for Charlotte Kalla after silver medal finishes in the skiathlon and classic races earlier in the week. Ida Ingemarsdotter, Emma Wiken and Anna Haag are the three other members of the team.

It got even worse for defending champion Norway as they were overtaken by France in the final leg and could only finish fifth overall. Far too much for skiathlon gold medal winner Marit Bjørgen to do on the final leg...

The ecstatic Swedeish quartet celebrate their thrilling gold medal ©AFP/Getty ImagesThe ecstatic Swedeish quartet celebrate their thrilling gold medal ©AFP/Getty Images

A thrilling finish to the cross country relay as Sweden edge out Finland and Germany for the gold medal ©AFP/Getty ImagesA thrilling finish to the cross country relay as Sweden edge out Finland and Germany for the gold medal ©AFP/Getty Images

Sochi 2014 gold medal14:56 The cross country relay gold medal goes to Sweden. Wonderful final leg from Charlotte Kalla and she overhauls Finland's Krista Lahteenmaki to win by half a second. Germany also less than a second off the win in third. 

What a race!

Injury update

Some more news on the injury sustained by Russian skier Maria Komissarova. It is being reported that the injury is a fracture of the spine with a dislocation.

A source close to the situation added to Ria Novosti that "the character of the injury doesn't allow for her transportation to Moscow" and that "doctors will decide what to do further but an urgent operation with be carried out at Krasnaya Polyana hospital."

Komissarova, 23 and from St Petersburg, was not considered a serious medal contender but did win a World Cup silver medal in Grindelwald in 2012. She was also one of a number of Russia's female Olympians to appear in a photo shoot ahead of the Games which went viral on the internet. 

Afternoon Action

14:49 We are deep into the women's 4 x 5km cross country relay. Norway have a proud history in this event but are currently outside the medal positions. Finland lead from Germany and Sweden after three legs - with Norway fourth.

14:26 We will bring you more as we get it on that training injury but there is also lots of sporting action beginning to get underway this afternoon. 

Russian freestyle skier Maria Komissarova being treated after "serious" training injury

14:20 Russian freestyle skier Maria Komissarova has been seriously hurt in a training crash, leaving her in need of immediate surgery, it has just been announced. 

Komissarova, who competes in the ski-cross event, sustained the injury while training at the PSX Olympic ski-cross venue this morning, the Russian Freestyle Federation said in a statement.

They added that "Maria's injury is serious," and that she has been taken to a nearby hospital where "doctors undertook the necessary examination and took the decision to operate on the athlete on site."

There were no details of what kind of injury Komissarova may have received, but we will bring you more information as we get it. 

It is the latest, and seemingly most serious, of multiple training injury incidents this week in Sochi. This included a bobsleigh track worker breaking both his legs when hit by a non-competition bobsled on Thursday. 

14:08 It is all over in the men's ice hockey as Slovenia beat Slovakia 3-1. Still going in the women's quarter-final play off. Sweden 3-2 up late on. Finland throw everything forward but, oh no, are caught on the counter-attack and Sweden confirm their quarter-final place with the easiest of tap-ins for a 4-2 win. 

After very nearly calling an ice hockey puck a "ball" yesterday I do apologise for my slightly football-orientated ice hockey terminology. It is a new sport for me, but I will work on it, I promise.

14:00 Austria are now one of five countries on two gold medals here in Sochi. See the latest medals table here.

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"It had been a big dream of mine for a long time, and today it came true. I feel great, this is unbelievable. I would like to dedicate this medal to my family and my coaches, and everybody who has helped me throughout my life to make this possible. Today is my day."
- Austria's Anna Fenninger is delighted with the first gold medal of day eight.

Slovenian success

Tomaz Razingar celebrates scoring against Slovakia ©Getty ImagesTomaz Razingar celebrates scoring against Slovakia ©Getty Images

13:53 Make that 3-0. After a Slo-start (sorry) this match has come alive. Rok Ticar scored the Slovenians third goal in seven minutes and they are about to take their first ever Olympic ice hockey win. Anze Kopitar and Tomaz Razingar scored the first two.

After their first ever Winter Olympic gold medal - for Tina Maze in the downhill a few days ago - it is fast becoming a memorable Games for the country.

13:50 Slovakia came fourth at Vancouver 2010 and won a silver medal at the 2012 World Championships but are now 2-0 down to Slovenia who are competing - under their national flag at least - at a first Olympic ice hockey tournament.

Afternoon session

We have the ladies cross country relay, short track speed skating and more curling action starting at 14:00 but the only other sport currently on going is "official training runs" in bobsleigh and Nordic Combined.

Equaliser from Sweden in the women's ice hockey to make it 1-1 with Finland with 10 minutes of the third period to go. 

And Slovenia have scored to make it 1-0 over Slovakia. This would be quite an upset...

Ahead of the big US v Russia showdown later - it is rather less exciting in the Slovakia v Slovenia ice hockey match at the moment: 0-0 in the third period. 

There is also a women's quarter-final play off match going on with Finland leading Sweden 1-0.

13:10 OK, a moment to pause now before we get underway this afternoon.

But some curling results from earlier first. A big shock as Olympic champions Sweden are beaten by China 7-6. That allows Great Britain to make up some ground which they do with a 10-8 win over South Korea while Canada continue their outstanding form with a 8-6 triumph over Japan.

Canada lead the overall standings with six wins out of six. China, Great Britain and Sweden all on four wins with Russia and Switzerland on three apiece. 

Super G conclusion

12:46 Well...we didn't have a tie on this occasion but another fantastic women's Alpine event. A second gold medal of the Games for Austria and a first Olympic medal for Fenninger. Her best result prior to this was super-combined gold at the 2011 World Championships...

For the record, my pre competition tip Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein was a DNF. I need to stop this prediction malarkey. Or just stick to guessing German luge and Dutch speed-skating success maybe...

Anna Fenninger of Austria wins a dramatic Super G ©Getty ImagesAnna Fenninger of Austria wins a dramatic Super G ©Getty Images

12:33 Sochi 2014 gold medalA few last ditch contenders fail to dislodge the medallists and we can now confirm that Anna Fenninger of Austria has won the Super G.

A thrilling competition full of crashes - 18 out of 41 failing to complete the course.

The silver medal goes to Germany's super-combined champion Maria Hoefl-Riesch while another Austrian in Nicole Hosp holds on for third. 

12:22 Tina Maze - the other downhill winner earlier in the week - of Slovenia briefly goes into third but is swiftly displaced by Lara Gut of Switzerland. Still an Austrian 1-2 at the moment.

Not now - Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany goes into second place.

12:17 But not for long... fellow Austrian Anna Fenninger takes over at the top and Julia Mancuso of the US is pushed out of the medal positions. 

Nicole Hosp of Austria has taken the lead with a time of 1 min 26.18 sec. 

Press Briefing round up

And update is also given on the IOC's request for "clarification" following the three year sentencing of environmental protester Yevgeny Vitishko.

We asked two days ago and have had confirmation that this is not related to the Games, explains Adams. He was arrested after vandalising a house three years ago and given a suspended sentence. He broke the conditions of that and that is the reason for the decision earlier this week. We have been told it is not Olympic related.

The usual question asked about the impact of the warm weather...and the usual answer from Mark Adams: winter sports are unpredictable and - unlike during Vancouver 2010 - no sports yet have been cancelled of moved.

Kosterina adds that, as far as she is aware, Games organisers have still not used their reserves of snow. She adds that there have been slight delays with drainage but that no event has been rescheduled.

A few non-doping related issues to round up now the press briefing has come to an end.

Super G begins

Dominique Gisin is one of many to come a cropper in the Super G this morning ©AFP/Getty ImagesDominique Gisin is one of many to come a cropper in the Super G this morning ©AFP/Getty Images

11:53 Meanwhile, it is chaos so far in the skiing - with four out of the first five to take on the arduous Super G course failing to finish. They are all falling on the same turn...

Fabienne Suter of Switzerland now leads but skiers falling left, right and centre. Suter's compatriot in downhill co-winner Dominique Gisin is another to fall...

IOC Press Briefing

11:40 Some interesting other questions on marijuana and testing of National Hockey League ice hockey players. On the latter question there is good co-operation between the IOC, NHL, and International Ice Hockey Federation, it is explained.

On the subject of marijuana an interesting answer is given after an initial response that it  is "tested for because it is on the list."

There has been a lot of debate but final conclusion was that can be a performance enhancing stimulant so is forbidden in competition but - because it is socially accepted outside the sporting arena in many countries, there are more relaxed rules outside the competition venue, Ljungqvist adds.

11:35 Lots of questions on the testing of samples from the Turin 2006 Games. Testing has been completed but there are delays for various reasons, it is explained, before an assurance that "once we have full information we will give an announcement."

Some speculation on which athletes are implicated but - surprise surprise - no comment is being given on individual cases. 

So far, there have been 1,140 pre competition targeted tests and 659 conducted post competition. No news on the results of those tests yet...

11:25 The shift in testing from post competition to other times is being explained, as is the reliance on other sources of information - such as International Federation's, National Olympic Committees, Government agencies and the World Anti Doping Agency.

11:20 Today's theme is anti-doping and we have Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of the IOC medical commission, and IOC medical director Richard Budgett.

Along with, as ever, IOC spokesman  Mark Adams and Sochi 2014 spokeswomen Alexandra Kosterina.

Do not think for a moment that the advent of the weekend will prevent the daily IOC and Sochi 2014 Press Briefing. We are underway in the Main Press Centre, as we are on the slopes of Rosa Khutor...

10:58 As ever action has long started in curling with another round of women''s matches. After a fairly average start Great Britain have found some form in the tournament and are continuing it today by leading South Korea. Canada edging Japan while China giving defending champions Sweden a real fight in the other two matches. 

Putin checking in on the US ahead of the ice hockey

Last night the scene could have been set better for today's match after Russian President Vladimir Putin paid an announced and impromptu visit to the US House, as well as the Canadian one. Surely ice hockey came up in the conversation? Surely. 

But it was also a visit with fascinating political implications after all the build up and our report on the visits and their significance can be read here.

President Putin holds aloft a pair of mittens in Canada House this evening ©Getty ImagesPresident Putin visited Canada House as well as USA House last night
©Getty Images

Ice hockey showdown

But the biggest highlight surely comes away from the medal action. Because, and English and German football fans may disagree here but they would be wrong to do so, one of the biggest rivalries in international sport is upon us today.

It's Russia versus the United States in ice hockey! 

Coming up on day eight

Coming up in almost exactly an hours time is the women's Super G up at Rosa Khutor - can Tina Weirather continue Liechtenstein's proud tradition in Alpine skiing? All will the glut of Austrian, Swiss, German and US rivals prove too strong...

Medal action in speed skating and cross country as well as two sets up for grabs in short track later on before a ski jumping and skeleton themed finale this evening.

Could it also be the day when Germany begins to feel some medals table pressure? Chances for Canada, Norway and the Netherlands in particular to close the gap today but - as I've said it before - the oldest adage drilled into a young English football fan is: never, ever write off the Germans. The latest medals table can be seen here.

We might not have much more to come in terms of British gold medals but certainly lots to get excited about on day eight and beyond.

09:26 Oh, and forgive insidethegames for a brief moment of patriotic jingoism, last night we also had the first British gold medal of the Games courtesy of skeleton slider Lizzie Yarnold. 

Lizzie Yarnold dominated the skeleton competition to win the first British gold of Sochi 2014 ©Getty ImagesLizzie Yarnold dominated the skeleton competition to win the first British gold of Sochi 2014 ©Getty Images

09:15  It seems amazing that it is over a week since the Opening Ceremony now and it has certainly been quite a week: From the thrills of slopestyle, to the slow burning tension of curling and from the ecstasy of double figure skating gold for Russia to the agony of the withdrawal and retirement of Yevgeny Plushenko, we have had it all. 

09:00 Hello, good morning and welcome back to Sochi - and to day eight of the Winter Olympic Games.