Winter Olympics Briefing

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The Independent Online

Figure skating: Volchkova falls foul of bad finger

Viktoria Volchkova has been withdrawn from the women's figure skating after she was admitted to hospital in Moscow with an infected blister caused by tying her boot up. "Viktoria got a blister on her right middle finger from tying her skating boot and it got infected," Valentin Piseyev, the Russian figure skating president said. "The inflammation continued to spread up the limb and caused swelling."

Biathlon: Wilhelm thrives on the will to win

Kati Wilhelm claimed the third Olympic gold medal of her career with an emphatic win in the women's 10-kilometre pursuit. Starting the race with an 18-second deficit after finishing seventh in the sprint on Thursday, the World Cup leader had only one miss at the range to beat Martina Glagow, her German team-mate, in 1min 13.6sec. "The sprint was my best chance but I stayed calm knowing that there were two individual events coming," said Wilhelm, who won her previous Olympic golds in the 2002 sprint and relay competitions.

Silver comeback: Stehle makes her second chance count

Evi Sachenbacher Stehle was happy, relieved and kept clear of controversy after she won a silver medal in the 4x5km cross-country relay. The German had a miserable start to the Games when she was banned because ofhigh red blood cell levels. The ban was for health reasons and she passed a subsequent check. Yesterday she skied the quickest in the German team, and steered them to second behind Russia. She stuck then to talking about the race: "I thought I had to get the [sprint] race behind me and do my best."

Cross-country: Come along and have a party... please do

No shows are causing an image problem. Plenty of tickets were sold for the cross-country events but yesterday thousands did not turn up. Organisers will issue 15,000 more tickets for the final race in hopes of filling the spectator areas. "We are thinking of having 15,000 extra people there," Cesare Vaciago, the organisers' chief executive officer, said. "We can fill up the designated spectator areas along the race. This is the last competition and we can have a party."

DON'T MISS TODAY

Women's alpine Super-G: Chemmy Alcott tries to fulfil her dream by winning Britain a medal.

Ice dancing: John and Sinead Kerr attempt to improve on 11tn place so far.

Freestyle skiing: The women's aerials offer the tantalising appeal of thrills, skills and danger.

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