Provisional National Teams for 2014/2015

The provisional Cross Country Skiing National Teams for 2014-2015 have been released by SAXC, the cross country committee of Ski & Snowboard Australia.

The four Sochi 2014 Winter Olympians, Phillip Bellingham, Callum Watson, Esther Bottomley and Aimee Watson, have been selected to the World Cup Team based on their results over the past twelve months. Four athletes have been selected to the Continental Cup Team; Paul Kovacs, Casey Wright, Anna Trnka and new team member Jessica Yeaton who is only one result shy of making the World Cup Team. Similarly there are three athletes (corrected Sept 17) in the U23 and Junior Teams, Jackson Bursill, Xanthea Dewez and Katerina Paul, who are also part qualified to the Continental Cup Team. Athletes can move up teams during the northern hemisphere winter based on their performances in FIS competition.

The biggest boost to team numbers has come in the junior ranks, with twelve athletes selected to the Australian Junior Team including eight new athletes making their National Team debut. In total 22 athletes have been named to the different teams.

SAXC is also pleased to announce athletes who are already qualified for the major 2015 championship events, inluding the World Championship in Falun, Sweden, the World Junior and U23 Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and the World University Winter Games (WUWG) in Strbzke Pleso, Slovakia. Twelve (corrected Sept 17) athletes are pre-qualified for Falun, where the team will be headed up by coach Finn Marsland and manager Brian Keeble. The Junior/U23 team will be led by Allison McArdle, while Ewan Watson heads up the WUWG team for the second season in a row. Final championship teams will be announced in the lead-up to these events.

One athlete hoping to compete in Falun is Callum Watson, who is recently out of hospital after puncturing his lung in a serious accident during the Australian Championship in August. Though it may be some time yet before it will be fully known how quickly he can return to normal training, Callum began light aerobic activity last week and so far his post-operation recovery has been progressing well.

“The support and encouragement from family, friends and the ski community from all over the world has been fantasic,” said Callum, who together with team-mate Phillip Bellingham has been training under Falun-based coach Mattias Nilsson since April. “I’m confident in the recovery progression that the doctors and my coach are putting together, and more motivated than ever to be in racing shape for Falun 2015.”

The full provisional team list is available in PDF format below. Team selection is subject to acceptance of the team invitation by the athletes.

The World Cup season for Australia will begin in Lillehammer in Norway in December. Progress through the season can be followed on the AUSXC website and also via team/athlete Twitter updates and athlete blogs on the right-hand side of the page. Donations to the team can be made via the XC Towards 2018 campaign, or by attending the Cocktail Party and fundraising evening tomorrow!

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One Response

  1. Congratulations!

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