Australian Team 2012/2013 International Summary

Tomorrow Callum Watson and Phillip Bellingham will contest the World Cup Team Sprint in Quebec in Canada, the first World Cup of the season for Australian skiers. The following day the boys will be joined on the individual Freestyle Sprint starting lists by Esther Bottomley. On the eve of these events it is perhaps a tad late to be publishing a preview of the season to come for the Australian Team, but better late than never…On the official team list Callum Watson is the only athlete currently on the World Cup Team for 2012-2013, although there is a good chance that other athletes will join him throughout the season.  Both Watson and 2011-2012 World Cup Team member Esther Bottomley won the 2012 FIS Australia – New Zealand Cup, which gives them a direct quota place on World Cup. Other Continental Cup Team athletes Phillip Bellingham, Mark van der Ploeg and Alex Almoukov are qualified to compete on World Cup if there are quota spots available. Already Bellingham has one result this season under 90 FIS points – a second result will make him eligible for promotion to the World Cup Team.

Possibly joining them on the Continental Cup Team soon is Paul Kovacs, who last weekend scored what will hopefully be confirmed soon as his first sub-120 FIS point race, in the 15km Classic NorAm in Canmore. There is currently a minor disagreement between the FIS and rational thought over the penalty of this race, with hopefully common sense to prevail. PK is racing the next NorAm this weekend at Sovereign Lake.

After the World Cup in Quebec City the circus moves out east in Canada to Canmore. That’s it before Christmas, then no Australian athletes will compete in the Tour de Ski. In the New Year the Australian Team World Cup schedule includes Liberec in the Czech Republic; La Clusaz in France; Sochi in Russia; Davos in Switzerland; Lahti in Finland; and Drammen and Oslo in Norway.

Aside from World Cup competition, the main event of the season is the 2013 World Championship in Val di Fiemme in Italy. In addition to the athletes named above (PK to be confirmed), Continental Cup Team member Aimee Watson is also qualified for Val di Fiemme. Unfortunately clashes with biathlon races may prevent Alex Almoukov from competing.

The main competition for the National Junior Team is the 2013 World Junior/U23 Championship in Liberec in the Czech Republic. The team for this championship is being lead by former National Team athlete turned coach Nick Grimmer and Victorian Junior Coach Allison Stoddart. Eight junior team athletes and three U23 athletes are aiming to compete in Liberec: Anna Trnka, Ashleigh Spittle, Casey Wright, Xanthea Dewez, Alasdair Tutt, Hamish Roberts, Jackson Bursill and Nick Montgomery, plus U23 athletes Bellingham, Kovacs and Almoukov. Two other junior team members are qualified to compete in Liberec, Lucy Glanville and Damon Morton, however at this stage the biathlon WJC scheduling seems likely to prevent them from racing.

A number of other events will be squeezed in here and there – US Nationals at Soldier Hollow, Swiss Championships in Lenzerheide, OPA Cups in St Ulrich in Austria and in Oberwiesenthal in Germany, maybe some other German Cup and Swiss Cup races. All up a total of nineteen athletes have accepted places on the World Cup Team, Continental Cup Team, National Squad and Junior Team, and, possibly a first, all of them will be competing overseas at some point during the season.

That’s what lies ahead. But first, Quebec!


One Response

  1. Looking forward to seeing some Aussies compete in the world cup, been watching the team train at falls this season, would love to some to compete in the tour de ski one day!!!

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