Sochi 2014 snowboarding


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

One more day to come in Sochi...

It will also be the final day of the insidethegames blog tomorrow for the time being - but we will be back at 9am tomorrow (5am GMT) for one more day.

Until then it is time to say good bye!

On day nine, we will have a final flurry of medals action with six giant slalom events in Alpine skiing and six cross-country freestyle events. It will give us a final chance to see some of the biggest stars of the Games in action - including Russian Nordic star Roman Petushkov bidding to win his seventh gold of the Games. 

No action in the Olympic Park tomorrow - of the sporting kind anyway because we will, of course, have the Closing Ceremony in the Fisht Stadium tomorrow evening. 

It is somewhat sad that, after almost six weeks, the Olympic and Paralympic action is coming to an end in Sochi tomorrow evening with the Closing Ceremony. 

But we do have one more day to come first. 

The US team celebrate with their ice sledge hockey gold medals ©AFP/Getty Images

21:50 So a disappointing end to day eight for Russia but it has been another day of success for the host nation as well as they add to more gold medals to their overall tally.
The Sochi 2014 medals table after eight days of action ©ITG 
Russia can still technically be caught on tomorrow - with 12 more sets of medals to come - but its not going to happen and despite two finals defeats on day eight, in wheelchair curling as well as ice sledge hockey, they are going to repeat their Olympic table-topping success.

Twitter2WE DID IT! First-ever to win consecutive #Paralympics golds in sled hockey. #USAvsRUS ends 1-0. 
- US Paralympics celebrate the gold medal

Josh Sweeney blasts the puck into the roof of the net in what proved the Paralympic gold medal winning strike ©Getty Images

21:44 So a close, tense and fiercely-fought affair by two formidable teams. But it was the speed of the US which proved the difference. Along with Josh Sweeney's goal of course...

That is the second gold medal of the Games for the US, and they move up to seventh on the medals table as a result. 

Sochi 2014 Paralympic gold medal21:40 The final buzzer goes and the US have won the gold medal. They have become the first team ever to successfully defend a Paralympic ice sledge hockey title. 

21:38 Three chances for Russia! Selyukin, Varlakov and Volkov all go close but cannot find the net! That could be it...

21:37 The clock is ticking and we are getting closer and closer to a US victory here. Russia just cannot keep possession at the moment...

21:32 Russia are really going for this. Evgeny Petrov has had a poor match by his standards but breaks clear down the right hand side. But no, he hesitates rather than shoot and then fails to find a teammate when passing. 

21:29 The US are so good when not in possession and so quick to get back behind the play. They almost double their lead through Nikko Landeros but he loses control of the stick when nearly through on goal.

21:26 One thing, which we mentioned earlier at 12:43, is that this match is being screened on live television on NBC in the US. A big moment for Winter Paralympic sport, and the viewers are about to watch their country win the gold medal unless Russia can produce a goal soon. 

21:23 Best chance of the match so far for Nikolay Terentyev but he cannot quite get the shot away and ends up behind the goal. Russia need to convert one of these opportunities. 

21:19 Back underway and time to find out what the Russian have left. 

The US celebrate taking the lead ©Getty Images

21:16 It is speed of the US which the Russians are finding so difficult to handle. Some of the Americans absolutely electrifying across the ice and that is making the difference both in defence and attack. Can they keep it up in the third period?

21:04 End of the second period...and what a period it was for the US. Josh Sweeney's goal the difference and they lead the final 1-0. 

21:01 But they are unable to make the most of it and the US are back up to a full complement of players...and almost double their advantage when Josh Pauls goes clear. 

20:59 A Russian timeout with three minutes to go in the second period. Russia have to remember they have time to get back into this match. They have an extra man on the ice as well after Rico Roman is penalised for interference. 

Goaltender Steve Cash makes a save ahead of his team taking the lead ©Getty Images

20:55 The Russians were protesting the goal though to no avail and not really sure why. It shot in and out again very quickly so maybe they were disputing the fact it went in the net? 

This match was following the group match script with the US on top but unable to break the deadlock. But they now have broken the deadlock and how crucial could that be...

20:53 The US have broken the deadlock and lead 1-0! An awful mistake by the Russian defence hand the puck to Josh Sweeney who breaks clear with no defender in sight. He flicks the puck one way, and then the other, and then shoots it home for the opening goal past Kamantcev

20:52 Another great chance for the US as Sweeney tries to find the net in a mass of bodies in a goalmouth scramble. The crowd ramp up the noise even louder as if too help their team, and Russia suddenly break and have a one on one...but equally good goalkeeping from the US.

20:49 Best chance of the match so far for Brody Roybal following a lovely move. But a great save by the Russian goaltender

20:44 A break is on for a moment as Petrov goes clear, but stunning covering speed by Joshua Pauls leaves his opponent for dead and reaches the puck first.

Plenty of big hits going in at the moment, particularly by the Russians as they opt for a more physical approach...

20:41 It is possible, of course, that the crowd support can work against Russia as it so loud and maybe distracting every time they gain possession. They're struggling to find their top form this evening Russia - but are looking just about the more likely to break the deadlock.

20:35 So, players are coming back out onto the ice for the second period after the goal-less opener. Two good defences and a combined total of just three shots in that opening period. 

It was a highly physical opening period but the ice sledge hockey final remains goal-less ©Getty Images

20:23 This could be the chance for the US and what a time it would be to score at the end of the period, but although they get a shot away it is straight at the Russian goaltender.

And there goes the buzzer. An entertaining, pulsating first period but ultimately a goalless one. It remains 0-0. 

20:20 Two minutes left in the first period and still an open game, but two very well organised defences keeping opportunities to a minimum. But now Russian are a man down as Petrov is given a two minute suspension for teeing. 

20:17 Good interplay by Alexey Amosov and Evgeny Petrov but they cannot quite get the shot away. And then Josh Sweeney gets a chance but cleared off the line by the host nation defence. 

20:14 A timeout called to make running repairs to the ice. Few real chances yet for either team but Russia do perhaps look more dangerous in possession. Or maybe it is just the crowd noise making it seem that way...

20:10 Unbelievable roars from the crowd every time Russia gain possession. A scrappy opening with both teams showing understandable signs of nerves...

20:07 Although until these Games, this has not been a particular ice sledge hockey rivalry, US v Russia is one of the most famous rivalries in international sport. 

Russia tend to adopt a shoot-first philosophy whereas the US a more patient approach. But it is the US with the early possession as Russia struggle to keep the puck.

20:04 And, a couple of minutes, late we are underway in the ice sledge hockey gold medal match

The US team take to the ice for the final ©AFP/Getty Images

Quote marks"It is the support from the fans and relatives who call us forward and demand results. After the first game we thought, 'How can we lose?' Everyone is supporting us, everyone loves us so. And we lost. About 50 per cent of our success we owe to the fans."
- Russia captain Dmitry Lisov on how home support can make the difference.

19:55 The players are out on the ice and the atmosphere is rocking in the Shayba Arena. 

Ice sledge hockey has been on the Paralympic programme since Lillehammer 1994. Many of the rules and regulations are the same as in ice hockey but instead of skates the competitors use specially designed sledges to move around the ice.

They also have two playing sticks with a spike on one end and a blade on the other - with the dual purpose of propelling the sledges around the ice and controlling and shooting the puck. There is no points classification system in sledge hockey - but all athletes have a lower limb impairment. Technically, teams can include both men and women, but none of the teams in Sochi will have a female player.

Each game is made up of three periods of 15 minutes each and there are 15 players in a team, but only five outfield players and one netminder are allowed on the ice at any time.

Bring it on, Russia

19:40 To further whet your appetite, read this blog posted on the US Paralympic website written by US veteran and team member Rico Roman looking ahead to the final. It is entitled "Bring it on, Russia" and is moving stuff indeed...

US players warming up ahead of the ice sledge hockey final ©Twitter
19:35 But the US will not have it all their own way this evening. Russia have never even competed in a Winter Paralympics ice sledge hockey tournament before but have made remarkable improvement in recent years. They won a bronze at last years World Championships and, lest we forget, have already beaten the US in the group stage. 

19:28 The US have taken medals at the last three Winter Paralympics in the sport, with a bronze at Turin 2006 sandwiched between golds at Salt Lake City 2002 and four years ago at Vancouver. The defending champions also won the 2009 and 2012 world titles and came second at last years event behind the Canadian team they beat in the semi-finals.

Twitter45 minutes to go. Are you ready? #SledgeHockey #USAvRUS #Paralympics
IPC ice sledge hockey, the governing body of the sport, ramp up the anticipation levels.

19:15 But Russia have a chance to add to that gold medal tally in around 45 minutes time when they take to the Shayba Arena for the ice sledge hockey semi-final. 

18:56 Russia need three more gold medals to beat the total of 29 won by Norway when Lillehammer hosted the 1994 Winter Paralympics. when there were a 133 events. 

With six more available tomorrow in cross-country as well as a further six in Alpine skiing, that is very likely indeed. 

18:50 The latest medals table is also happy reading for the host nation. With 20 gold medals more than nearest rivals Germany, it is fair to say they are not now going to be caught. Have a look here. 

18:44 Despite that curling loss earlier on this evening, the celebrations continue for Russia in the latest round of medals presentations - as Alexey Bugaev is crowned super-combined standing champion. 

A day of celebrations also for the just-announced Whang Youn Dai award winner Toby Kane who received bronze. 

Alexey Bugaev is crowned super-combined champion ©Getty Images

Mentel-Spee and Kane named as winners of Whang Youn Dai Achievement Award

18:31 Snowboarding's first ever Paralympic champion, Bibian Mentel-Spee of the Netherlands, and Australia's super-combined bronze medal winner Toby Kane, have been named as the winners of the Whang Youn Dai award for "exemplifying the spirit of the Paralympic Games through their performances at Sochi 2014," it has been announced this evening. 

Bibian Mentel-Spee of the Netherlands ©Getty ImagesToby Kane of Australia ©Getty Images

The Whang Youn Dai Award has been presented to one male and one female athlete at every Paralympic Games since Seoul 1988 - for overcoming adversity and putting the spirit of the Games into motion.

Mentel-Spee has been instrumental in getting snowboard into the Games for the first time in Sochi whilst Kane has taken on a key leadership role within the Australian team during several set-backs in the lead-up to Sochi - mostly associated with the tragic death of snowboarder Matthew Robinson last month. 

Kane and Mentel-Spee were selected from a shortlist of six nominees by an independent panel of judges consisting of International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board Members Andrew Parsons, Miguel Sagarra and Duane Kale. In total, there were 25 nominations by National Paralympic Committee Presidents and Chef de Missions.

The athletes will receive the award during the Closing Ceremony tomorrow.

18:22 We have a bit of a break now until the final sporting action of day eight...but it will be well worth the wait! Because it is the Russia versus United States ice sledge hockey rematch. And this time it is the final.

Twitter2It's been up and down week but boy were we up for the bronze medal match. Massive credit to @tonyzummack best coach in the business.
British Paralympic Association chief executive Tim Hollingsworth praises the British team and their Canadian coach following the bronze medal success.

18:10 Canadian skipper Jim Armstrong repeats his Vancouver 2010 success with this Canadian team and, although a slightly controversial character following a disputed drugs ban several years ago, he is one of the greats of the sport. 

Despite the overwhelming Russian nature of the crowd there was also some Canadian support in the Curling Centre today...

Jim Armstrong and Dennis Thiessen celebrate after winning the gold medal ©Getty ImagesCanada fans cheer on their team in pursuit of a third gold medal ©Getty Images

18:01 Canada's victory means that they have become the first country to complete a clean sweep of all the Olympic and Paralympic curling titles following their men and women's victories during the Olympics. Britain, meanwhile, also won a medal in all competitions with the men claiming silver in the Olympics and the women bronze. 

Britain claim the bronze, the team's sixth medal of Sochi 2014, a record. 

Meanwhile, after seven ends of the bronze medal playoff Britain are 7-3 up against China. The bronze is theirs to lose. 

Sochi 2014 Paralympic gold medalCanada complete wheelchair curling Paralympic hat-trick with 8-3 victory over Russia

Russia have conceded victory to Canada, who win the title for a third consecutive Paralympic Games. It looked like it was going to be Russia's day after they took a 2-0 lead in the first end in front of a passionate crowd. But in the end, Canada proved just too strong. 

Russia score their first point since the first end. But, barring a miracle, Canada are heading for a third consecutive Paralympic wheelchair curling gold medal as they enter the final end 8-3 up. 

Canada look to be heading for a record third consecutive wheelchair curling god medal as they increase their lead to 8-2 over Russia after six ends.  

Russia are looking like they will have to settle for the silver medal in the wheelchair curling as Canada head for a third consecutive gold medal ©Getty ImagesRussia are looking like they will have to settle for the silver medal in the wheelchair curling as Canada head for a third consecutive gold medal ©Getty Images

Britain have increased their lead in the bronze medal playoff to 5-3 over China after five ends.

A mistake from Jim Armstrong seems to have allowed Russia an opportunity to get back into the match but the skip retrieves the situation with the bonus of another steal means Canada extend their lead to 5-2. 

After four ends of the bronze medal playoff Britain have moved into a 4-3 lead over China.

Canada are doing all they can to silence the home crowd by stealing two points in the fourth end to take a 4-2 lead over the Russians. 

It is now 3-2 to China against Britain after three ends in the bronze medal wheelchair curling playoff.

Quote marks"Obviously, at the end of the day, it's not what we came here for but for the rest of my life, I'm never going to remember [Vancouver 2010]. I'm going to remember that big hunking medal that we're going to get on our necks in a couple hours and what it means to bring a medal home for Canada. Sure we would love something better, but we got a medal for Canada and that makes me so proud."

- Canadian forward Billy Bridges looks on the positive side of Canada's bronze medal in the ice sledge hockey

Cat and mouse in the wheelchair curling but it is Canadian skip Jim Armstrong who is on top at the moment and pulls his team level 2-2 against Russia after three ends. 

It's the end of the second end in the bronze medal playoff and China have increased their advantage over Britain to 3-0.

Canada pull back a point in the gold medal playoff but still trail Russia 2-1.

In the bronze medal playoff China have taken an early 1-0 lead against Britain. 

An early indication of what the Canadians will be up against in the Ice Cube where they are taking on the Russians in the final of the wheelchair curling. Every stray Canadian shot is cheered by the home crowd as they see their favourites take a 2-0 lead at the conclusion of the first end. 

Swedish ice hockey player awarded Olympic silver medal after being cleared of taking drugs

15:48 On the subject of positive drugs tests during the Olympics it was announced yesterday that Swedish ice hockey player Nicklas Bäckström has been cleared of any wrongdoing and awarded an Olympic silver medal after the IOC found he had not intentionally taken a performance enhancing drug.

Bäckström tested positive for pseudoephedrine on February 19 following Sweden's quarter-final victory over Slovakia at Sochi 2014, and was subsequently banned from playing in the men's ice hockey final which the Swedes lost 3-0 to Canada.

The 26-year-old claimed the banned substance came from an allergy medication he had been taking for seven years and was advised by the Swedish team doctor Bjorn Waldeback that the medication was safe to take. An IOC Disciplinary Commission has accepted his explanation and lifted any sanctions. The full story can be found here

Unlucky seven for Polish bobsleigher after Sochi 2014 positive test

The Polish Olympic Committee have just announced that bobsleigher Daniel Zalewski tested positive for a banned stimulant in a test taken during the Olympics in Sochi on February 23. Zalewski was part of the Poland team that finished 27th in the four-man competition that day.

The Polish body said it was informed by the International Olympic Committee yesterday that Zalewski's A and B samples both showed traces of the unnamed stimulant. He is the seventh athlete to test positive during the Olympics. Read the full story here

We are going to concentrate on curling for a bit now with the gold medal match between Russia and Canada already underway, along with the bronze playoff between China and Britain. Both matches are still in their first ends.

Sochi 2014 Paralympic gold medalSwitzerland end Sochi 2014 drought thanks to Kunz

Christoph Kunz became the first Swiss medallist at the Winter Paralympics in Sochi when he won gold in the giant slalom sitting ©Getty Images Christoph Kunz became the first Swiss medallist at the Winter Paralympics in Sochi when he won gold in the giant slalom sitting ©Getty Images

It is official. Kunz, 31, has won not only Switzerland's first Alpine skiing medal of Sochi 2014, but their first of any colour - a remarkable statistic for a country with even more mountains than chocolate. 

Kunz, who carried his country's flag at the Opening Ceremony, put in a remarkable second run to clock 1min 14.10sec. That took him above New Zealand's Corey Peters, who also won his country's first medal of these Games, and Austria's Roman Rabl.  Kunz had also won Switzerland's first medal at Vancouver 2010, finishing second in this event. He later went on to win gold in the downhill at those Games. 

The relief among Swiss officials and staff was obvious as they hugged each other after Kunz crossed the line. 

Switzerland look like they are going to claim their first gold medal in the Alpine skiing events after Christoph Kunz clocked the fastest time in the second run of the men's giant slalom sitting. New Zealand's Corey Peters, who led after the first run, slipped to second while Austria's Roman Rabl fell to third. The results will not be confirmed until the rest of the field - none of which are serious medal contenders - have completed their second runs. 

Canada claim ice sledge hockey bronze

Canada beat Norway 3-0 to claim bronze medal in the ice sledge hockey. 

There are eight minutes left in the final period of the ice sledge hockey in the Shayba Arena where Canada are heading for the bronze medal after their three goal burst in the second period which leaves them leading Norway 3-0 .

Sochi 2014 Paralympic gold medalVive la France!

 Vincent Gauthier-Manuel claimed gold in the giant slalom standing event despite losing a pole near the end of the course ©Getty ImagesVincent Gauthier-Manuel claimed gold in the giant slalom standing event despite losing a pole near the end of the course ©Getty Images

It is official. Vincent Gauthier-Manuel has claimed France's fourth gold medal of these Winter Paralympics. He beat Russia's Alexey Bugaev, the 16-year-old who had already won the slalom and super combined and claimed silver in the downhill and bronze in the super-G, and Austria's Markus Salcher, the downhill and super-G champion. 

It is the third medal of Sochi 2014 won by 27-year-old Gauthier-Manuel following silver in the slalom and bronze in the downhill. It was a remarkable performance after losing his pole three gates from the end. 

France's Vincent Gauthier-Manuel, leader at the end of the first run, loses a pole at one of the last few gates but still crosses the line in 1min 11.15sec to claim gold, although that will not be officially confirmed until a group of lower-ranked skiers finish their runs.

Austrian Markus Salcher follows next but is outside with 1min 12.19sec so is second overall. 

Russian teenager Alexey Bugaev conjures up an excellent recovery to clock 1min 11.72sec and take the lead.

Australian Mitch Gourley looks like he's set to take over the lead only to crash with the finish line in sight. 

Slovakia's Martin France takes the lead with a time of 1min 12.92sec.

The second run of the men's giant slalom standing is underway with Japan's Toshihiro Abe currently leading. The main contenders are due off in a few minutes. 

Quote marksThey didn't choose the right strategy
- Russia skip Andrey Smirnov offers a damning assessment of Britain's tactics after their the host nation had won 13-4 to book their place in the final later today against Canada.

A good few minutes for Canada as they are now 3-0 up in the ice slege hockey bronze medal playoff. They have scored three times in seven minutes thanks to two from Billy Bridges and one from Brad Bowden. 

Sochi 2014 Paralympic gold medalTeenager Marcoux strikes gold for Canada in giant slalom

Canada's 16-year-old Mac Marcoux, however, survived a scare on the early part of the course to consolidate the lead he enjoyed after the opening run to claim gold. Krako takes silver and Redkozubov bronze. 

But his lead does not last long as Slovakia's Jakub Krako clocks 1min 13.25sec

Russia's Valerii Redkozubov moves into the lead with a time of 1min 13.66sec, by far the fastest of this second run. 

The second run of the men's giant slalom visually impaired has started 20 minutes earlier than originally scheduled and the leader in the clubhouse at the moment is Spain's Gabriel Juan Gorce Yepes. But the leading medal contenders are still to go. 

Twitter2Waking up at 5 am to watch the sledge hockey bronze medal game is soo much easier than waking up at 5 am for uni

Let's hope GoCanadaGo is enjoying the bronze medal playoff more than we are

Putin holding talks with head of Ukrainian Paralympic Committee

Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently meeting the head of Ukraine's Paralympic Committee, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has announced. Valeriy Sushkevich also met Putin before the start of the Games earlier this month. Ukraine decided to take part despite the Crimea crisis, but threatened to pull out if there is an escalation of violence. A referendum is due to take place in Crimea today which could lead to the area breaking away from Ukraine to join Russia. 

It's the end of the first period in the bronze medal playoff and so far it's pretty forgettable as Canada and Norway go in goalless.

Fans love has driven us to ice sledge hockey final says Russian captain

Russian fans celebrate reaching the final of the ice sledge hockey final ©Getty Images

13:28 Russian ice sledge hockey captain Dmitry Lisov claimed having the crowd behind them has made a big difference in their march to the final. 

"It is the support from the fans and relatives who call us forward and demand results," Lisov said. "After the first game we thought, 'How can we lose?' Everyone is supporting us, everyone loves us so. And we lost [to South Korea]. About 50 per cent of our success we owe to the fans."

Russia have received a well-balanced offence with three players in the top-10 for scoring in the tournament. Evgeny Petrov is tied for first in scoring with six points while Vasilli Varlakov has five points and a plus/minus rating of plus 10.

Bit of a muted atmosphere in the Shayba Arena at the bronze medal playoff as it is goalless after five minutes between Canada and Norway. 

Twitter2#Sochi2014 ticket update- 316,200 sold so far. Absolutely incredible! 86,200 more than Vancouver 2010

IPC communications director Craig Spence tweets the latest ticket news

First up, though, starting in a few minutes is the bronze medal match at the Shayba Arena between Canada and Norway, the Nagano 1998 and Turin 2006 champions. World champions Canada were seeded to reach the final but were knocked out by the US in the semi-final. 

Paralympic first as NBC to screen sledge hockey final between US and Russia on main channel

12:43 With a short lull in the action now a good time to begin previewing the highlight of today's programme, the ice sledge hockey final between Russia and the United States at 20:00.

The US are the defending Paralympic champions from Vancouver 2010, and are looking to be the first-ever country to make it two straight gold medals.

Such is the interest in the match is that NBC have announced they will be airing the final on their main channel, making it the first time ever a Paralympic sporting event is broadcast live on NBC in the US.

That victory also meant Roman Petushkov won a sixth gold medal at these Games, one behind the all-time record set by Norwegian cross country skier Knut Lundstrøm at Nagano 1998.

Also a special mention for France's two-man team of Benjamin Daviet and Thomas Clarion, who each skied two legs each to claim a hard-earned bronze. 

A remarkable statistic is that Russia now have as many gold medals at the next nine nations combined! Utterly dominant. 

Sochi 2014 Paralympic gold medalGOLD for Russia - again!!!

Rushan Minnegulov completes the formalities and anchors Russia home to another gold medal. Ukraine claim the silver and France the bronze.

Putin at Laura Cross Country to watch Russia win 27th gold medal

First glimpse of the day of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is at Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Centre to watch yet another gold medal for the home country. 

Russia appear to be heading a 27th gold medal at these Winter Paralympics as they start the final leg 33 seconds ahead of France. 

Russia's Vladislav Lekomtcev, however, puts the host nation in front at the end of the second leg as France slip to third and Belarus move into third. Canada are up to fifth after nine-time Paralympic gold medallist Brian McKeever posts the fastest time of 5min 19.3sec.

At the Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Centre the 4x2.5km open relay cross country has started and France lead after the first leg. Benjamin Daviet has surprisingly finished ahead of Russia's Roman Petushkov, winner of five gold medals at Sochi 2014 already. Kazakhstan are third and Belarus fourth. 

The men's giant slalom skiers will all have their second runs this afternoon, starting with the visually impaired category at 13:50 where a reminder that Canada's Mac Marcoux leads Slovakian Jakub Krako and Russian Valerii Redkozubov.

We are coming to the end of the first run of the men's giant slalom sitting and the top three remain with New Zealand's Corey Peters leading Switzerland's Christoph Kunz and Austria's Roman Rabl. Germany's Georg Kreiter is in fourth. 

Russia and Canada now have three-and-a-half hours to prepare for their final at 15:30. China and Britain will meet in the bronze medal playoff at the same time. 

Canada to meet Russia in wheelchair curling final

Amid much tension Canada hold on to beat China 5-4 and reach the final of the wheelchair curling, where they will meet Russia as they seek to defend their title. 

It's pretty tense at the Ice Cube where Canada are defending their 5-3 lead in the eighth end against China. Skip Ina Forrest is looking to set up a guard to ensure they book their place in the final. 

Russia reach wheelchair curling final

Russia have reached the final of the wheelchair curling with a 13-4 victory over Britain. It looks like they will meet defending champions and favourites Canada, who are 5-3 up against China. 

Corey Peters' time in the men's giant slalom sitting (see 11:10) is beginning to look better with every rival who follows him. He remains out in front, raising hope that New Zealand are on course for their first medal of these Games. Switzerland's Christoph Kunz is in second, more than half-a-second behind Peters, while Austria's Roman Rabl is in third. 

Could we be heading for an upset in the wheelchair curling? China have pegged Canada back to 3-3 at the end of the seventh end. Russia have extended their lead to 12-3 over Britain. 

Canada's Josh Dueck, winner of the super combined and silver medallist in the downhill, won't be adding a third medal after he crashes out. 

We are now straight into the first run of the men's giant slalom sitting where the early leader is New Zealand's Corey Peters, who has clocked 1min 18.10sec. 

Just time to tell you that in the wheelchair curling China are putting up a brave fight against Canada and it is now 3-2 after six ends. Russia, meanwhile, are still 11-3 up against Britain.

We have completed the first round of the men's giant slalom standing where France's Vincent Gauthier-Manuel retains his lead ahead of Austria's Markus Salcher and Russia's Alexey Bugaev third.

This could be quite a day for Russia as they appear to be cruising towards the final of the wheelchair curling later. Britain's comeback has proved to be a brief one as Russia are now 11-3 up after five ends. They seem on course to meet favourites Canada in the final. They are 3-1 up against China. 

Sochi 2014 Paralympic gold medalGold medal number 26 for Russia

Russia have won the first gold medal of the day in the 4x2.5 kilometres mixed relay cross country. Thanks to a strong second-half of the race they moved from fourth to second to finish ahead of Sweden and Norway with early leaders Ukraine slipping out of the medals. 

Russia celebrates its gold medal in the 4x2.5km mixed relay cross country race ©Getty ImagesRussia celebrates its gold medal in the 4x2.5km mixed relay cross country race ©Getty Images

Don't think it's all over at the curling (see 10:16) where Britain have scored three points in the third end to peg it back to 4-3 in their match against Russia while China have reduced it to 2-1 in their encounters with defending champions and favourites Canada.

In the men's giant slalom standing the first run is still taking place, although none of the current skiers are expected to affect the overall standings which is still led by France's Vincent Gauthier-Manuel with Austria's Markus Salcher in second and Russian Alexey Bugaev third.

We are also underway at the Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Centre where the 4x2.5 kilometres mixed relay cross country is underway. With two legs completed Ukraine are leading Sweden with Norway in third. Hosts Russia are in third. 

Meanwhile, back at the Ice Cube in the coastal cluster there has been some significant moves in the curling. Russia now lead Britain 4-0 after two ends and Canada have extended their advantage over China to 2-0. 

But big, big disappointment for Austrian Matthias Lanzinger, the former World Cup skier who was many people's favourite for this event. He makes a miscalculation and skis off the course, his gold medal chances gone. 

A brilliant run from France's Vincent Gauthier-Manuel in 1min 14.72sec puts him in front. 

We are straight into the men's giant slalom standing and there are some familiar names at the top of the early leader board with Austria's Markus Salcher leading Russian teenager Alexey Bugaev.

Spain's Yon Santacana Maiztegui is lying third in the giant slalom visually impaired after the first run ©Getty ImagesSpain's Yon Santacana Maiztegui is lying third in the giant slalom visually impaired after the first run ©Getty Images

The first run of the men's giant slalom visually impaired has been completed. Marcoux and Krako remain in the gold and silver medal positions but Spain's Yon Santacana Maiztegui, winner of the downhill, has moved into bronze.  

In the curling Russia are leading Britain 1-0 after the first end while Canada lead China by the same score.

We are already underway at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre where the men's giant slalom for visually impaired is underway. The early leader is Canada's Mac Marcoux, who has clocked 1min 16.02sec. He leads Slovakian Jakub Krako and Russian Valerii Redkozubov.  
09:27 Today we have three men's giant slalom sets of medals to be won, as well as two in cross-country.

The ice sledge hockey and curling competitions will also reach their climax. Canada play Norway for hockey bronze, while the United States face Russia in what promises to be a spicy clash for gold.

The wheelchair curling semi-finals will see Great Britain play Russia and Canada versus China, with the bronze medal and gold medal games later.

For a full recap of what happened yesterday when you don't you take a look at our blog, which can be found here

Yesterday saw 14 gold medals across Alpine skiing and biathlon, which gave host nation Russia an opportunity to extend their lead at the top of the overall medals table. They have now won an incredible 64 medals, including 25 gold. It means that they could beat the record of 29 gold medals won by Norway when Lillehammer hosted the 1994 Winter Paralympics. when there were a 133 events. To see the full medal table click here

Welcome to the penultimate day of the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics and insidethegames will be bringing you all the action.