Olympic and world champions headline Winter University Games in Russia

PyeongChang 2018 gold medallist Alang Kim and world champion Dmitry Loginov target gold in Siberia.

Olympic gold medallists and world champions are among those gathering in Krasnoyarsk, Russia for the 2019 Winter Universiade which runs from 2-12 March.

Sometimes known as the World University Games, the Winter Universiade is held every two years with the Summer Universiade taking place in even years.

The participants are officially registered students aged between 17 and 25, and former students who have obtained a degree or diploma in the previous year.

There will be some 3,000 athletes from 58 countries competing in 76 medal events across 11 winter sports.

Check out our up-to-date streaming schedule here.

Eight disciplines - alpine skiing, biathlon, cross-country skiing, curling, figure skating, ice hockey, short track speed skating and snowboarding - are compulsory sports at the Games.

Up to three optional sports are allowed and in Krasnoyarsk these are freestyle skiing, ski orienteering and bandy which is a Russian variant of hockey.

But one sport looks set to steal the limelight in Siberia.

Russians lead battle for ice supremacy

There should be some high-quality figure skating in Krasnoyarsk with Stanislava Konstantinova heading the field in the ladies' singles. She will be joined by team-mate Maria Sotskova who won silver at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck. The 18-year-old placed 8th at the Winter Olympics 2018 in PyeongChang.

But Konstantinova is the woman to beat even though her fourth place in January's European Championships was not enough to keep her in the World Championship line-up.

The two Russians will not have things their own way with Kazakhstan's Elizabet Tursynbaeva in the field.

The 19-year-old returned to PyeongChang 2018 champion Alina Zagitova's coach Eteri Tutberidze in Moscow at the start of this season after three years in Canada with Brian Orser, the man behind Yuna Kim and Yuzuru Hanyu's Olympic triumphs.

And this has been by far her best campaign with Tursynbaeva finishing second in February's Four Continents behind the current world number one, Japan's Grand Prix Final winner Rika Kihira.

The teenager fell after fully-rotating her quad Salchow in her free skate, but managed to rise from sixth place after the short program.

Tursynbaeva was Kazakhstan's second medallist at the Four Continents with the late Denis Ten taking victory in 2015.

Ten, tragically killed in Almaty last July, won gold at the 2017 Winter Universiade so Tursynbaeva will again be seeking to emulate her former team-mate.

"No words..." - Elizabet Tursynbaeva's reaction on Instagram to the death of fellow Kazakh figure skater Denis Ten

Just 0.34 points behind Tursynbaeva in Anaheim was Japan's Mai Mihara who completed a full set of Four Continents medals having won in 2017 and finished second in 2018.

The pair meet again in what should be an exciting competition.

Four Continents runner-up Elizabet Tursynbaeva (L) and third-placed Mai Mihara (R) meet again in the Winter Universiade

The men's competition promises to be equally fascinating.

The entries are headed by Alexander Samarin and Matteo Rizzo, second and third respectively at the recent European Championships behind the retiring Javier Fernandez.

But Maxim Kovtun will be hoping to bounce back from his disappointment in Minsk where he finished 14th after an error-strewn free skate.

In December, Kovtun won his fourth Russian national title and a return to that sort of form would surely see him on the podium.

Russian champion Maxim Kovtun during his free skate at the European Championships in Minsk

Kazuki Tomoni, third in this season's Rostelecom Cup in Moscow and fourth in the Japanese nationals, is another skater who should be in the medal hunt.

Olympic champion Laffont drops out at last minute

Just weeks after winning gold and bronze at the Freestyle Ski World Championships, moguls ace Perrine Laffont was hoping for more hardware in Russia.

The Frenchwoman made her Olympic debut at Sochi aged just 15, reaching the final of the moguls.

And four years later in PyeongChang, Laffont pipped Canada's defending champion Justine Dufour-Lapointe to take gold.

Last month, she took bronze in the World Championships in Utah behind Yulia Galysheva and retained her dual moguls world title.

But right before her competition started at the World University Games, she changed her mind and decided to return to France.

"I am very tired after a long World Cup season which is why I have opted to return home to get some rest," she explained.

King Dmitry's homecoming

The most popular athlete at the Winter Universiade looks certain to be snowboarder Dmitry Loginov who will also be Russia's flagbearer in the Opening ceremony.

The 19-year-old, born in Krasnoyarsk, won the parallel slalom and parallel giant slalom world titles last month at Park City in Utah.

Those successes came just five months after he did the double in the World Junior Championships in Cardrona, New Zealand.

Now back in front of his home fans, Loginov will be determined to put on a show.

Dmitry Loginov celebrates winning the parallel slalom, his second gold at the 2019 Snowboarding World Championships in Utah

Russian families aim to replicate world title form

Also in Utah, Maxim Burov claimed his first world title in the aerials.

It was a dominant display from the 20-year-old who produced the three best runs in the final.

Maxim Burov celebrates winning the men's aerials at the Freestyle Ski World Championships at Deer Valley, Utah

Twelve months earlier, Burov failed to qualify for the final at PyeongChang 2018 and watched elder brother Ilya take a bronze medal.

Ilya was only 10th in Utah with Maxim going on to take bronze in the mixed team aerials the following day.

His team-mates at Deer Valley were Stanislav Nikitin, fifth in the individual event, and his sister Liubov Nikitina.

At 20, Nikitina is one of the rising stars of freestyle skiing having taken world silver in the aerials in Utah.

She is also a two-time world junior champion, and strongly fancied to win a Universiade title on home snow.

Double Olympic short track champ back for more

Alang Kim is no stranger to winning medals on the big stage.

The 23-year-old South Korean short track skater has two Olympic and three world titles to her name, all in the 3000m relay.

She also has six medals from her two previous Winter Universiade appearances, at Granada in 2015 and Almaty two years ago, including three golds.

The men's team also looks strong with 20-year-old Gunwoo Kim currently heading the world rankings at 1500m thanks to three World Cup victories this season.

Winter University Games will be streamed on Olympic Channel, click here for our up-to-date schedule

Daily Streaming Schedule

Saturday 2 March

Opening Ceremony

Sunday 3 March

Cross-Country Skiing - Women's 5km Classic

Cross-Country Skiing - Men's 10km Classic

Alpine Skiing - Women's Super-G

Alpine Skiing - Men's Super-G

Snowboard - Men's Snowboard Cross

Snowboard - Women's Snowboard Cross

Freestyle Skiing - Men's Aerials

Freestyle Skiing - Women's Aerials

Monday 4 March

Alpine Skiing - Women's Combined Super-G

Alpine Skiing - Women's Combined Slalom

Cross-Country Skiing - Women's 5km Freestyle

Cross-Country Skiing - Men's 10km Freestyle

Biathlon - Women's Individual 15km

Biathlon - Men's Individual 20km

Short Track - Women's and Men's 1500m

Ski Orienteering - Men's Sprint

Ski Orienteering - Women's Sprint

Freestyle Skiing - Mixed Team Aerials

Tuesday 5 March

Alpine Skiing - Men's Combined Super-G

Alpine Skiing - Men's Combined slalom

Snowboard - Women's and Men's Parallel Giant Slalom

Short Track - Women's and Men's 500m

Short Track - Women's 3000m relay and Men's 5000m Relay Semi-Final

Ski Orienteering - Men's Pursuit

Ski Orienteering - Women's Pursuit

Wednesday 6 March

Bandy - Women's Semi-Finals

Biathlon - Women's 7.5km Sprint

Biathlon - Men's 10km Sprint

Cross-Country Skiing - Men's and Women's Sprint Freestyle

Snowboard - Men's and Women's Parallel Slalom

Short Track - Men's and Women's 1000m

Short Track - Women's 3000m Relay and Men's 5000m Relay Final

Figure Skating - Pairs Short Program

Figure Skating - Men's Short Program

Freestyle Skiing - Men's and Women's Ski Slopestyle

Thursday 7 March

Alpine Skiing - Women's Giant Slalom

Biathlon - Women's 10km and Men's 12.5km Pursuit

Figure Skating - Ice Dance Rhythm Dance

Figure Skating - Pairs Free Skate

Figure Skating - Men's Free Skate

Ski Orienteering - Mixed Sprint Relay

Friday 8 March

Alpine Skiing - Men's Giant Slalom

Cross-Country Skiing - Mixed Team Sprint

Figure Skating - Mixed Synchronised Short Program

Figure Skating - Ladies' Short Program

Figure Skating - Ice Dance Free Dance

Bandy - Women's Bronze Medal Match

Bandy - Women's Gold Medal Match

Snowboard - Women's and Men's Halfpipe

Saturday 9 March

Cross-Country Skiing - Women's Relay

Cross-Country Skiing - Men's Relay

Figure Skating - Synchronized Free Skate

Figure Skating - Ladies' Free Skate

Figure Skating - Exhibition

Alpine Skiing - Mixed Alpine Team Event

Biathlon - Single Mixed Relay

Bandy - Men's Semi-Finals

Freestyle Skiing - Women's and Men's Moguls

Curling - Men's and Women's Semi-Finals

Sunday 10 March

Curling - Men's and Women's Medal Matches

Alpine Skiing - Women's Slalom

Biathlon - Women's and Men's Mass Start

Snowboard - Women's and Men's Slopestyle

Ski Orienteering - Men's and Women's Middle Distance

Bandy - Men's Bronze Medal Match

Bandy - Men's Gold Medal Match

Ice Hockey - Women's Semi-Finals

Freestyle Skiing - Dual Moguls

Monday 11 March

Alpine Skiing - Men's Slalom

Cross-Country Skiing - Women's 15km Mass Start

Freestyle skiing - Women's and Men's Ski Cross

Ice Hockey - Women's Bronze Medal Match

Ice Hockey - Women's Gold Medal Match

Ice Hockey - Men's Semi-Finals

Tuesday 12 March

Cross-Country Skiing - Men's 30km Mass Start

Ice Hockey - Men's Bronze Medal Match

Ice Hockey - Men's Gold Medal Match

Closing Ceremony

*Click here for our up-to-date streaming schedule


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