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December 3 - Plans for the Summer

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Summer 2007/2008 Updates


December 3 - Plans for the Summer

As the attention of the Australian skiing community turns to the northern hemisphere regular news reports of Australian cross country skiers competing overseas will be posted in the 2007/2008 Team Report section on this site. To follow news reports from other nations try the links on the top left section of this page.

The following report is an edited excerpt from the National Team report published in the recent Spring 2007 edition of Australian Cross Country News:

This coming international season overseas we are contesting a limited number of World Cup events, similar to 2006/2007. Before Christmas Paul Murray will race in Ruka in Finland and Ben Sim will race in Rybinsk in Russia. No athletes will take part in the Tour de Ski (although we will see whether some of our younger athletes can ski as fore-runners in the events in Oberstdorf). In January Paul Murray, Esther Bottomley and KT Calder will head across for the Canadian World Cup events in Canmore, then in February we will have a small team of 3-4 athletes at the World Cups at the 2009 World Championship site of Liberec in the Czech Republic. Paul Murray also plans to compete in Sprint World Cup events in Estonia and Scandinavia at the end of the season, however for these events he will be relying on support from his Swedish club and his Continental Cup money.

In December we will be putting a handful of our senior athletes through an intense competition schedule in central Europe. KT Calder, Esther Bottomley, Chris Darlington and Nick Grimmer will contest twelve days of competition in a four week period, including OPA Continental Cup, Swiss Cup, and the German Sprint Championships. This block has a very specific competition goal - qualification to World Cup. Esther Bottomley and KT Calder need to requalify under 120 FIS points again, and Chris Darlington and Nick Grimmer are attempting make the step up that they have fallen just short of in the last couple of years. Thanks to an Australian Sport Commission Women in Sport Leadership Grant, Victorian coach Jacinta O'Neill will be joining the team as assistant coach for the second half of this period and will be providing support for six weeks of competitions through until the World Cups in Canada.

Towards the end of December the core of the junior/U23 team will arrive in Europe with team manager Brian Keeble and set up camp in Oberstdorf in Germany. Four days after arriving they will get to see the World Cup Tour de Ski events live in Oberstdorf on January 1 and 2. This group also has good competitive opportunities throughout January with OPA Continental Cup and the Swiss Championships, although they will not travel as much as the earlier group. At the Swiss Championships they will be joined by other Australian Team members and NSWIS coach Nick Almoukov while National Team Coach Finn Marsland heads over for the Canadian World Cups. At the end of January a team of 6-8 athletes will travel to Poland for the World Junior/U23 Championships in Sczyrck, where the goal is to achieve top 30 performances from our top athletes and mid-field results from the rest of the team.

At the very end of the season Esther Bottomley will compete in the Canadian Championships at the Callaghan Valley near Whistler in Canada. This will be the first opportunity that our athletes will have to compete on the 2010 Winter Olympic tracks, which have been constructed from scratch over the last couple of years.

The planned schedule of FIS events are listed here. As in other years individual Australian athletes will be training and competing at other locations around the world - the events indicated on the schedule are only events where athletes will be competing officially as Australian Team members.

During this season we have more emphasis on results than in recent years. In the lead-up to Torino 2006 we also had very high competition goals however just for the athletes trying to qualify for the Winter Olympics. In 2007/2008 we will still be supporting a large team of athletes at different stages of development, but most of these athletes are looking for more out of these events than experience. It is time for us to take more athletes up to the next level and I'm confident that they are ready for the challenge.

Look to the 2007/2008 Team Report section for regular updates from the team training and competing overseas.


XC is the official website of the Skiing Australia Cross Country Committee. It is produced with the assistance of the Australian Sports Commission and the Kangaroo Hoppet. The editor can be contacted via info@hoppet.com.au.