Published Friday 18 January 2019 on the SSA website.
Nine Australian athletes have arrived in Lahti, Finland ahead of the 2019 Junior/U23 Nordic Ski World Championships as they ready themselves for competition beginning January 20.
Across seven competition days, Australia’s best young talent will be on display in Northern Europe.
Before arrving in Lahti, the Junior Team (U20) undertook final preparations in Bruskvallarna, Sweden, while the U23 athletes honed their skills and techniques at Australia’s international training base in Davos, Switzerland.
Together Jindabyne local Liam Burton, ACTAS scholarship holder Seve de Campo and soon to be three time U23 Championships skier Katerina Paul are focused on achieving strong results.
Burton and de Campo have already pre-qualified for the 2019 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Austria, while Paul needs one more race to qualify.
Australian U23 Head Coach Valerio Leccardi says this event plays a critical role in their development towards senior competitions like the Olympics and World Championships.
“This event is a stepping stone in their careers and provides them with a clear picture of their progress as compared to athletes from around the world.
“All three athletes have solid form ahead of their competition and after our training in Davos it’s exciting to see what their hard work will produce,” he said.
Five of the six junior athletes will be making their Junior World Championships debut and they are all hitting thier straps at the right time.
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Australian Team for the Lahti 2019 World Junior / U23 Championships: Juniors – Emily Champion – Darcie Morton – Nicholas Blackwell – Declan Burke – Tom Hoogenraad – Bentley Walker-Broose U23 – Katerina Paul – Liam Burton – Seve de Campo First races start Sunday January 20! @skiandboardaus @jwsc2019 @fiscrosscountry @nswxcski @vicjuniorxcski @actacademyofsport @podiumwear
The Junior Team are coached by dual Olympian Callum Watson who says the group are looking to keep achieving great results in Finland.
“After a 16 day camp in Sweden with the focus on the Scandic Cup races and training with minimal disruptions we are expecting solid results, they are all hitting the best form of their career.
“Racing against the best juniors in the world will be valuable for all six to understand what they are capable of in the future in bigger events such as the Olympics and the World Cup circuit if they continue their journey through the sport,” Leccardi said.
For the third year in a row Australia will field a team in the Junior Men’s 4 x 5km relay event after the national selection committee nominated a team following the promising results at the Swedish Cup.
Stay up to date with all competition actions and follow @AusXC across Facbeook, Twitter and Instagram.
Visit the offical event website for more information – click here.
2019 World Junior/U23 Nordic Ski Championships Australian Team:
Liam Burton (Jindabyne), Seve de Campo (Canberra) and Katerina Paul (Taggerty). Head Coach: Valerio Leccardi.
Darcie Morton (Marlo), Emily Champion (Sydney), Bentley Walker-Broose (Cooma), Declan Burke (Jindabyne), Tom Hoogenraad (Melbourne) Nicholas Blackwell (Mt Beauty). Head Coach: Callum Watson (dual Olympian, 2014 & 2018 Winter Olympic Games). Assistant Coach and Manager: Teresa Riman
Sunday, 20 Jan
Women’s Classic Sprint (Champion)
Men’s Classic Sprint (Blackwell, Walker-Broose)
Monday 21 Jan
Women’s Classic Sprint (Paul)
Men’s Classic Sprint (De Campo)
Tuesday 22 Jan
Women’s 5km Freestyle (Champion, Morton)
Men’s 10km Freestyle (Blackwell, Hoogenraad, Walker-Broose)
Wednesday 23 Jan
Women’s 10km Freestyle (Paul)
15km Freestyle Burton, De Campo
Thursday 24 Jan
Women’s 15km Classic Mass Start (Morton)
Men’s 30km Classic Mass Start (Blackwell)
Friday 25 Jan
Women’s Classic Mass Start (Paul)
Men’s Classic Mass Start (Burton, De Campo)
Saturday 26 Jan
Men’s 2 x 5km Relay (Blackwell, Burke, Hoogenraad, Walker-Broose)