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2001 World Junior Championships
Karpacz - Szklarska Poreba, Poland, January 30 - February 4
Back to 2000/2001 Team Reports

January 30 - Competition Day One

A fairly inauspiscious start for the Australians in the 30km freestyle mass start. Duane Butcher and Chris Darlington started, only Duane finished - in 75th place out of 87 starters. Doesn't sound too bad until the 12 DNFs are added. Glide wax and skis were good, but here's the catch, for only about 7km. High humidity, snow about -1 degree, air temp -2, we had ironed-in Streamline but for some reason it didn't last. We started testing the durability of other fluoro powders this afternoon. Considering Darlo's stomach upset last week (he was still considering whether to start on the morning of the race), it was probably better that he pulled out before burying himself. Duane preferred to ski the last three laps at not much over LSD pace and finish the race. Though he did ask himself while skiing around, "What the hell am I doing in a 30km anyway?" Both seem to be recovering quite well, Duane looking forward to the sprint on Saturday, and Darlo keen for anything.

For the rest of the competition - the day belonged to Finland. In the women's 15km freestyle Pirjo Manninen sat in second place most of the race then took the lead with about 2km to go and won easing up ahead of Lina Andersson from Sweden. Four skiers had broken away after 10km. Sami Jauhojarvi made it a Finnish double, winning in a sprint from Russian Alexiej Trusov and Benoit Chauvet from France. A pack of about 7-8 skiers were together most of the way, at times with much disagreement about who would take the lead.

[A quick note. Thanks to the well know investigative abilities and attention to detail of James Rickard, some inaccuracies in the timing have been picked up. From Ben Sim's video of the finish, 1st place was easily three seconds ahead of second - the result list says 0.4 seconds. 6th and 7th place had a sprint across the line about 17 seconds after the winner - the result list says they finished 33 seconds off the pace, in a sprint with four other skiers. James intends to get to the bottom of this]

Among the English speaking countries, the Canadians were on top today with two skiers in the top 30, Drew Goldsack and Sofie Manarin both taking 28th place.

Results in brief (times from the official result list, may not be the actual times)
Men 30km Freestyle

1  FIN  1:29:55.6  Sami Jauhojarvi
2  RUS  1:29:56.0  Alexeij Trusov
3  FRA  1:29:59.9  Benoit Chauvet
28 CAN  1:35:19.5  Drew Goldsack
39 CAN  1:37:24.6  Devon Kershaw
42 USA  1:38:03.5  Andrew Newell
64 CAN  1:44:50.9  Connal Robertson-More
70 USA  1:46:22.6  Colin Rodgers
71 CAN  1:47:24.5  Jesse Fraser
75 AUS  1:55:47.2  Duane Butcher - 28.84% behind the winner
87 skiers in start, 75 in finish

Women 15km Freestyle

1  FIN  46:43.5  Pirjo Manninen
2  SWE  46:47.2  Lina Andersson
3  KAZ  47:05.4  Elena Kolomina
28 CAN  50:40.5  Sofie Manarin
37 USA  51:35.2  Tara Hamilton
40 USA  51:40.2  Jordan Seethaler
43 CAN  51:49.3  Madeleine Williams
44 USA  51 58.0  Kikkan Randall
55 CAN  53:12.4  Shayla Swanson
62 USA  54:52.9  Rachel Mathis
64 CAN  55:43.8  Chandra Crawford
72 skiers in start, 69 in finish

February 1 - Competition Day Two

A slightly better day for the Australians in the second race, the 10km classic. Chris Darlington finished in 92nd place out of 99 - 23.58% behind the winner, compared to his result of 36.59% behind the winner in last year's 10km event. A great improvement for Darlo, and he already has his sights set on taking a couple more minutes off his time next year. James Rickard finished in 96th place, just over a minute behind Darlo at 27.32% behind the winner. James was pretty happy with his first 5km, however struggled with stomach cramps (an ongoing problem) early in the second lap and also had a fall.

Both skiers were pretty happy with their skis, both glide and grip. Glide this time was ironed in Briko powder and corked in Streamline. For grip wax, James had Toko yellow stick covered with Rode Super Extra, while Darlo had the same with a couple of layers of Techno silver stick over the top.

James was obviously looking fairly suspicious as he was called up for a blood test before the start of the race. After several attempts to find his vein, he recorded a haemoglobin reading of 15.6, comfortably under the limit of 17.5 set by FIS. As all skiers on the start list started it is assumed that no-one was over the limit.

The Norwegian junior men followed in the footsteps of their senior compatriots on World Cup, with three in the top six in the 10km classic. Kristian Horntvendt was the winner, 3.1 seconds ahead of Russian Pawel Troszkin, with Jauhojarvi the winner of the 30km having to settle for 3rd place. Roman Virolainen from Belarus lead the field after 5km, but faded to 4th place at the finish. Drew Goldsack from Canada put in another good performance to take 24th place.

In the 5km classic Lina Andersson from Sweden turned the tables on Pirjo Manninen from Finland, winning by just 1.4 seconds. Sweden also took third place. USA junior girls did quite well with two in the top 23.

Men 10km Classic

1  NOR  29:00.2  Kristian Hornvendt
2  RUS  29:03.3  Pawel Troszkin
3  FIN  29:15.1  Sami Jauhojarvi
24 CAN  30:36.6  Drew Goldsack
41 CAN  31:20.5  Devon Kershaw
42 USA  31:23.5  Ethan Foster
59 USA  32:07.8  Eric Strabel
65 USA  32:23.1  Colin Rodgers
66 USA  32:23.3  Andrew Newall
72 CAN  32:55.3  Connal Robertson-More
86 CAN  33:34.7  Jesse Fraser
92 AUS  35:50.5  Chris Darlington - 23.58% behind the winner
96 AUS  36:55.6  James Rickard - 27.32%
99 skiers in start, 98 skiers finish

Women 5km Classic

1  SWE  15:42.6  Lina Andersson 
2  FIN  15:44.0  Pirjo Manninen
3  SWE  15:53.8  Carin Holmberg
15 USA  17:02.3  Tara Hamilton
23 USA  17:15.3  Kikkan Randall
46 CAN  17:50.3  Madeleine Williams
51 USA  18:02.5  Rachel Daw
52 CAN  18:02.8  Sofie Manarin
58 CAN  18:10.2  Shayla Swanson
66 USA  18:31.0  Jordan Seethaler
67 CAN  18:33.4  Chandra Crawford
80 skiers in start, 80 in finish

February 2 - A day of rest

Just the sprint to go for the Australians as we are not entering a relay team. The sprint course is probably the easiest that will ever be seen at international level. Two long straights on what could be classified as a gradual hill but is not much more than flat, with a sweeping slight uphill corner at one end and a tighter u-turn at the other. It is supposed to be 1km but it seems shorter because it is so featureless. Times are tipped to be pretty fast and seconds will cost many places. James and Darlo have been talking trash about who be ahead of the other, the bookies have Darlo at 5-4 to be ahead by 1 second. Duane has been pretty quiet but he is expected to be well clear of the other two in this event. The Finnish team staying in our hotel are not-so-quietly confident that Manninen and Jauhojarvi will come out on top, but with this course any mistake will be very costly. The Sprint World Cup from Asiago was on the TV today to get people fired up, Hjelmeset and Skari from Norway won (yes, it was classic style), while Mariotti and DeBertolis from Italy who featured in the Abtenau sprint made the final and semi-final respectively.

Start time is 9:00am for the women and 9:30am for the men, 20 second interval start in FIS point order, plus a few extra at the start for reasons not exactly clear. 100 men entered, 75 women, Duane starts at number 73, James at 93 and Darlo at 99. With Manninen having 4.29 points plus a couple of World Cup wins to her name she is the clear favourite, however on paper it is hard to pick a winner amongst the men.

The news from the pool room is that the Canadians complain about Australian rules, the Japanese don't care about the rules and like to play three a side, the Slovenians aren't stayers, and James has had a misspent youth. Also, "Keppis" is cheers in Finnish. In the end the winner probably wasn't pool.

The latest news on the Australian Star speed-tester is that somehow it could have made its way to Calgary, Canada. Awaiting confirmation.

February 3 - Competition Day Three

A very fast race and a chocked field in the sprint today, particularly in the men. From place 7 to 21 in the qualifying the time difference was only 0.7 of a second, and somewhere in there they separated out the top 16 that qualified for the finals. A little bit better results again for the Australians, but not quite as good as we were hoping for from Duane Butcher. Duane finished in 88th place, 16.81 seconds off the fastest time, however considering the flat course we thought that Duane should have been able to be within 10-12 seconds. We think the wax we had was good, but that the structure on Duane's skis was too coarse. The temperature dropped a lot overnight, and the snow was still minus 7 when the men started. We re-tested wax and rewaxed in the morning, but there was not much we could do about the structure before the start. Darlo kept the bookmakers happy by finishing 0.77 seconds ahead of James, and both seemed happy enough with their sprinting form. Darlo raced on a pair of skis borrowed from a Polish guard who waxed them up specially for us to try.

In the finals there were some very close finishes. The USA did quite well with both Andrew Newell and Kikkan Randall leading from the front and making it comfortably through to the semi-finals, and also Eric Strabel skiing a good tactical race to come from behind and make it through as well. But then in the semi-finals the pace went up another notch, and all three bowed out. Manninen lead all the way to win the women's final, while Germany's Johannes Bredl came from behind in the straight to win the men's final. All the action coming to you soon from the Ben Sim/Rob Findlay video library.

So that is it for the Australian 2001 World Junior Championship campaign. Tomorrow (after spectating the relays) Rob and Finn and James drive back to Austria, Duane catches a lift with the Canadian wax technician to Zakopane and the World Student Games, and Darlo and Ben Sim stay on in Sklarska Poreba for two days before flying out from Prague. Maybe a couples of beers tonight for the coaches and a lemonade or two for the boys.

Men 1km Sprint Freestyle

Qualifying Time Trial
1  GER  1:54.15  Johannes Bredl
2  USA  1:54.36  Andrew Newell
3  SWE  1:56.09  Fredrik Bystrom
15 USA  1:58.58  Eric Strabel
24 USA  1:59.77  Colin Rodgers
30 CAN  2:00.57  Connal Robertson-More
33 CAN  2:01.08  Drew Goldsack
35 USA  2:01.28  Zach Simons
37 CAN  2:01.64  Jesse Fraser
88 AUS  2:10.96  Duane Butcher - 14.72% behind the winner
93 AUS  2:14.01  Chris Darlington - 17.40%
94 AUS  2:14.78  James Rickard - 18.07%
99 skiers in start, 99 in finish
1  GER Johannes Bredl
2  NOR John Kristian Dahl
3  SWE Fredrik Bystrom
4  FIN Sami Jauhojarvi

Women 1km Sprint Freestyle

Qualifying Time Trial
1  FIN  2:07.95  Pirjo Manninen 
2  NOR  2:11.89  Ingrid Narum
3  ITA  2:13.19  Cristina Kelder
7  USA  2:15.74  Kikkan Randall
27 CAN  2:22.61  Chandra Crawford
28 CAN  2:22.62  Shayla Swanson
34 USA  2:24.23  Tara Hamilton
36 CAN  2:24.88  Sofie Manarin
39 USA  2:25.06  Rachel Daw
47 CAN  2:26.98  Madeleine Williams
63 USA  2:32.30  Rachel Mathis
75 skiers in start, 75 in finish
1  FIN  Pirjo Manninen
2  NOR  Kristen Murer-Stremland
3  FIN  Mona-Liisa Malvalehto
4  FIN  Kirsi Perala

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