American Mikaela Shiffrin gets her last chance to win a medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics on Saturday when the mixed team parallel event closes the Alpine skiing program.
All eyes will once again be on Shiffrin, Alpine skiing’s biggest star, who will be competing in her sixth event of the Games but has so far ended up with ninth place in super-G, 18th in the downhill and three Did Not Finish results.
Reigning mixed team Olympic champions Switzerland will be the team to beat on Saturday. They have already won nine Alpine skiing medals at these Games, including five gold.
Austria won silver in the Pyeongchang event, where world champions Norway took bronze.
The knockout competition, which was added to the Games program four years ago in Pyeongchang, involves 15 teams of six, with four skiers – two men and two women – taking on four from another nation in a series of parallel slaloms in each round.
The skiers race two at a time, coming down identical runs. The winner of each race earns a point for their team, with ties being broken by the team with the best aggregate time advancing to the next round.
Shiffrin, six times a world champion, won gold in giant slalom in Pyeongchang after taking slalom gold in Sochi in 2014. She also claimed a silver medal in the combined four years ago in South Korea but things have not gone to plan in China.
The 26-year-old skied out of the giant slalom and slalom, her two strongest events, and then skied out again in the slalom run of the combined event on Thursday.
“I should probably quit,” Shiffrin said after her individual medal hopes had collapsed in the combined. “But I’m going to come back out... and ski some parallel GS because I’m that much of an idiot.”
The competition gets under way at 1000 local time (0200 GMT) on the ‘Rainbow’ course with a round of 14, followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals, a race to decide the bronze medal and one to decide gold and silver.
Austria, whose team include combined winner and slalom silver medallist Johannes Strolz and women’s slalom silver medallist Katharina Liensberger, have been given a bye in the first round and go directly into the quarter-finals, where they will take on either Slovenia or Canada.
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