December 9 - The International Skating Union (ISU) have announced details of the first ever team event at Sochi 2014 as well as the names of the ten countries who will contest the gold medal.
The event is one of several team events to be added to the programme for Sochi 2014 - with team relay competitions also due to take place in the sports of luge and biathlon.
The ten entrants were decided on a points system earned at a series of recent events including the 2013 World Championships and the ongoing ISU Grand Prix series.
Canada lead the consequent list with 6,053 points, ahead of Russia on 5,459 points, United States 5,274 and Japan 4,062.
The remaining six place will be taken by Italy, France, China, Germany, Ukraine and Great Britain, with Australia and Estonia on standby as reserves.
The contest will take place in two stages at the beginning of the Games, with short programmes and dances taking place at day before the Opening Ceremony (February 6) and with only the top five teams to progress to the free dances and medal rounds.
Teams may switch up to two team members between the two stages, the ISU said.
They added that "in general only skaters and couples already qualified for the individual events at the Olympic Winter Games will compete."
"However, in order to complete a team the participants, if necessary and applicable, can make one entry (for one discipline) according to the 'additional athletes quota.'"
This would apply for countries including Britain, who have no skater qualified in the men's individual event, while it also raises the possibility of skater having finished their participation in Sochi before the Games are officially opened.
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