Xanthea Dewez 2nd in the 19-20 age class at Austrian National Championships. Watson 5th and Trnka 6th in senior women.

Xanthea Dewez racing in the Australian Championships

Xanthea Dewez of Wangaratta finish 2nd in the 19-20 age class of the Austrian National Championship’s 5km classic event held in Lackenhof, Austria. Aimee Watson and Anna Trnka raced well to finish 5th and 6th in the senior category whilst Jackson Bursill and Nick Montgomery double polled the senior male 10km classic event to finish a respectable 17th and 19th respectively.*

Aimee Watson: 5th place in 5km Cl Austrian Championships

Aimee Watson: 5th place in 5km Cl Austrian Championships

The Austrian National Championships is a two day event which consisting of a 5/10km individual start classic followed by a 5/10km pursuit start skate. From reports the course was flattish with many of the senior men including the Australians deciding to double pole the full ten kilometers.

For Xanthea Dewez this was her first race of the season after being in Europe for only six days. The trip ahead of her involves racing at World Junior Championships, the Oestersund World Cup and World Championships in Sweden.

The Austrian National Championships were targeted as a warm up race as she continues to prepare for the world championship events coming up. Despite this she put in a brilliant performance by finishing 2nd in the U20 category. This solid junior standing is a great sign for Australia’s fastest female junior skier two weeks out from World Junior Championships.

Aimee Watson and Anna Trnka finish in 5th and 6th in a small but strong senior women’s field that included Austria’s best female skiers as well as a handful of strong internationals. Aimee was only 56 second or just on 5% behind the winner. Anna finished 1:29 or 7% behind the winner. For both girls this is their best result of the season so far.*

Jackson Bursill and Nick Montgomery double polled their way to a top 20 finish in the senior men’s event. A risky decision on any course but one that seems to have been for the best as Jackson finished in 17th position 15% behind the winner. Nick, who loves a good hill, would have been disappionted with the course but happy to perform solidly in a double poll only 10km race. Nick finished in 19th in the senior men 18% behind the winner.*

Full Results are available at: http://www.pflanzl.info/Seiten/Results/Results_PDF2015/20150117Lackenhof/20150117Lackenhof_AC_OV_RL.pdf

Tomorrow event is a pursuit start skate race which is based on today’s result. This means the winner will go off first and depending on how many seconds behind the winner you were in the classic events depends on how many seconds you start behind the winner. The pursuit winner and Austrian National Champion will be the first athlete across the line. The junior and senior fields will be combined for tomorrow’s event.

A start list for tomorrow’s 5/10km skate pursuit is available at:

http://www.pflanzl.info/Seiten/Results/Results_PDF2015/20150117Lackenhof/20150118Lackenhof_OEM_SL.pdf

This format was common in the 1990s at World Championship and Olympic level. For those having trouble visualising what the skate pursuit will look like here is a highlights video of the pursuit from the 1998 Nagano Olympic Games. Each athlete starts however far behind the winner they were in the previous days 10km classic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-vVfB-Qbsc

*The results available on the race website (see above link) have separated the junior and senior athletes despite them all starting together. There are junior athletes that skied faster then the senior athletes. To get an idea of overall results, that is senior and juniors combined look at tomorrow’s start list (link above). The start list has the fastest overall male and female athlete starting first, the seconds and places behind should give you an idea of an overall placing and time back. The FIS website will also give you some idea however it does not include athletes that do not have FIS licenses.

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