Vreni Schneider of Switzerland, gold medalist in the giant slalom, and Yugoslavian Mateja Svet, who just missed a medal in that event, are among the best in today's slalom field. Austrian teammates Roswitha Steiner and Ida Ladstaetter also are tough in this most technical of the Alpine events. The race is held on two courses, with each competitor making one run down each. Although the courses are shorter than in the other Alpine events, they are on the steep, upper portion of the Nakiska slopes and there are more gates.
Bonnie Blair of the United States, who won the 500 meters, will try for another gold in the women's 1,000, where she is a long shot behind East Germans Christa Rothenburger, Karin Enke-Kania and Andrea Ehrig.
It could be all over but the celebrating today; if the Soviet Union beats top-seeded Sweden in the prime-time matchup and Czechoslovakia defeats Finland earlier in the day, the Soviets would clinch the gold medal. The Soviets lead the medal round standings with six points and should give standout Swedish goalie Peter Lindmark a good test. In the day's other match, Canada takes on West Germany.
In the final day of Olympic shooting and cross country skiing (this time, the men's 4x7.5-kilometer relay), teams from the Soviet Union and East and West Germany are expected to dominate.