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2006 World Junior / U23 Championships
Kranj, Slovenia, January 31 - February 5
Official Championship Site
Back to 2005/2006 Team Reports

Updates: Team - Jan 31 - Feb 1 - Feb 2 - Feb 4

Aussie WJC Reports


The Australian Team

Australian Junior Team: Ewan Watson, Chloe McConville, Callum Watson, Alex Almoukov, Aimee Watson (non-starting)
U23 Team: Ben Sim, Esther Bottomley
Coaches: Nick Almoukov, Finn Marsland
Manager: Peter Slattery

Competition Schedule:

Date

Event

Australian Competitors

January 31

Women Junior Sprint Freestyle

Chloe McConville

Men Junior Sprint Freestyle

Ewan Watson, Callum Watson, Alex Almoukov

Women U23 Sprint Freestyle

Esther Bottomley

Men U23 Sprint Freestyle

Ben Sim

February 1

Women Junior 5km Classic

No Australians

Men Junior 10km Classic

Ewan Watson, Callum Watson, Alex Almoukov

February 2

Women U23 10km Classic

No Australians

Men U23 15km Classic

Ben Sim

February 3

Women Junior 10km Pursuit

No Australians

Men Junior 20km Pursuit

No Australians

February 4

Women U23 15km Pursuit

No Australians

Men U23 30km Pursuit

Ben Sim

February 5

Women Junior 4 by 5km Relay

No Australian Team

Men Junior 4 by 10km Relay

No Australian Team

Full results at www.jwsc2006.com and www.fis-ski.com


January 31 - Competition Day 1 - Sprint Events, Junior and U23

This was the biggest day of competition for the Australian Team with athletes in four events. The best result came from Esther Bottomley in the U23 Sprint, however this result was still someway short of expectations. Ranked 5th for the event on FIS points, in normal condititions Esther should have a good chance of making at least the semi-final. Unfortunately it was not normal conditions. Warm weather meant no freeze, and the wet and dirty track became incredibly soft as well. As in the German Championships in Munich when the track was soft, Esther found it hard to ski fast and qualified for the finals in 30th place. In the 1/4 final Esther started well from the worst lane to be 2nd around the first corner, and half up the mushy hill she was still in equal 3rd. But the last part of the hill took its toll and she dropped off the back of the pack, so ending up in 30th overall. While on one hand this was Australia's first finals result in a World Championship Sprint, on a hard track it could have been so much more.

Ben Sim was 48th in the U23 sprint, also finding the conditions difficult. Chloe McConville was 73rd in the junior women's sprint. She looked strong for the first 300m but started to lose significant time on the last mushiest section of the hill. In the junior men's sprint Ewan Watson skied a solid race to be 73rd, with Alex Almoukov and Callum Watson finding it harder in 87th and 88th place.


February 1 - Competition Day Two - Junior Classic Events

A tough day at the office for the Australian juniors. Ewan Watson, Callum Watson, and Alex Almoukov finished 91st, 92nd and 93rd in the 10km Classic event out of a 100 skier field. Ewan's time was over 9 minutes behind the winner, though mind you the winner was Peter Northug of Norway who won the senior Norwegian Championship Pursuit event just a week or so ago. Even third place was 1:20 behind Northug. At least there was a freeze overnight and the track wasn't soft like for the sprint.

Unfortunately the results in the 10km Classic weren't good enough for the junior guys to be given a start in the junior Pursuit events on February 3. It had been decided by the coaching staff that they wad to finish within 20% of the winner to warrant another start, and Ewan was approximately 35% behind.


February 2 - Competition Day Three - U23 Classic Events

Ben Sim finished 48th in the U23 15km Classic event, 5:15 behind the winner Franz Goering of Germany. For the old brigade this was about 13.5%, not too bad and also not helped by Goering finishing 45 seconds clear from second place. As a comparison to Simbo's results earlier this season, his best result was about 9.5% behind the winner in the 15km Classic World Cup in Ruka. While at the time we didn't think Ben was in that great shape in November, it looks as though his illness at the start of January has meant that it was his best shape this season.


February 4 - Competition Day Four - U23 Pursuit Events

A slightly better result today for Ben Sim finishing, 38th in the U23 30km Pursuit. With the race held on 2.5km loops it was going to be tough to finish like in the Oberstdorf World Cup two weeks, and indeed 21 people were overlapped and had to withdraw. Simbo finished 6:20 behind the winner, or about 10%. And that will be his last race this season. The only races left in Kranj are the junior relays, and Ben and all the juniors are getting ready to return to Australia.

So that's it for the 2006 World Junior and U23 Championships. Sorry for the lack of detail in the reports, that's what happens when there are too many events on at the same time. Wanted: Australian skiing fans who have time to search the internet for results and to hassle coaches/athletes/managers for reports. Send your portfolios to the email address below.


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