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MOSCOW, February 12 (R-Sport) - The snowboard and freestyle park for next year's Winter Olympics faces its toughest test yet with World Cup competition this week, International Ski Federation president Gian-Franco Kasper said Tuesday.
From Wednesday through Sunday, 700 athletes from 45 countries will test the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in four disciplines: halfpipe, parallel giant slalom, parallel slalom and snowboard cross.
“After several years of preparation, the Sochi organizing committee will have the opportunity to check the new infrastructure during top-level competitions,” Kasper said in an e-mailed statement.
“These competitions will be the only opportunity for the best snowboard and freestyle athletes to test the Olympic facilities before 2014 Games.”
The World Cup round features eight Vancouver 2010 champions including Canadian slalom snowboarder Jasey-Jay Anderson and freestyle skier Alexandre Bilodeau, Australian halfpipe specialist Torah Bright and snowboarder Nicolien Sauerbreij of the Netherlands.
The Extreme Park is located west of the Rosa Khutor plateau in Krasnaya Polyana, almost 1,200 meters above sea level and near the Alpine skiing facilities.
Six different tracks with a total length of 3.5 kilometers for cross-country skiing, aerial and mogul competitions, snowboard cross, parallel giant slalom and halfpipe have been built for the 2014 Olympics on the Aibga ridge in the mountains above Sochi.
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New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Both are secondary players in a region overshadowed by an increasingly assertive China, which has not hesitated to push against the boundaries of its neighbors.