Australian Team for 2016 World Junior/U23 Championships

The 2016 World Junior / U23 Championship will take place in Rasnov, Romania, on February 22-28. Australia will be represented by a team of four athletes; Katerina Paul, Stella Ajani, Ella Jackson and Jackson Bursill, supported by coaches Ewan Watson and Robert Jones.  The team is currently undertaking the final preparations in Seefeld, Austria, before flying to Romania on Thursday.

AUSXC Junior-U23 Worlds Team 2016 #2

AUSXC World Junior / U23 Championship Team 2016: L-R Ewan Watson, Stella Ajani, Jackson Bursill, Katerina Paul, Ella Jackson, Robert Jones.

Kat Paul made her World Junior Championship debut in 2016, with a best result of 50th in the Classic Sprint. The 19-year-old from Taggerty in Victoria has been racing in Europe since the start of January, picking up valuable Sprint finals experience in OPA Cup and Swiss Cup. Stella Ajani and Ella Jackson, both 18-year-olds from Melbourne, have been racing in Europe for the first time this season, and Rasnov will be their first major international event.

Jackson Bursill is the sole U23 Australian representative and most experienced athlete on the team, having competed at the World Junior Championship in 2013, the U23 Championships in 2014, and the World Championships in 2015. Focussing mostly on the Freestyle Sprint in Rasnov, Jackson has been training in Sweden with the Dala Sport Academy for much of this season, competing most recently at the Estonian Championships at the end of January where he made the Sprint finals.

Snow conditions have brought a small change to the competition schedule, with the Pursuit events having been switched to Freestyle mass start events because a narrower course can be used. Rasnov is about 2-3 hours drive north of the Romanian capital Bucharest. The events can be followed live via FIS timing.

Australian Team
U23 – Jackson Bursill (NSW, NSWXC Ski Team / NSWIS )
Junior – Katerina Paul (VIC, Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club / Vic Junior Squad)
Junior – Stella Ajani (VIC, Team Ivanhoe / Vic Junior Squad)
Junior – Ella Jackson (VIC, Vic Junior Squad)
Head Coach – Ewan Watson
Assistant Coach – Robert Jones

22 February – Junior & U23 Freestyle Sprint
23 February – U23 10/15km Classic
24 February – Junior 5/10km Classic
25 February – U23 10/15km Freestyle Mass Start
26 February – Junior 10/15km Freestyle Mass Start
28 February – Junior Relays (no Australian teams)


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