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2003 Canada Winter Games Update #3
By:  David Zylberberg   (2003/02/26)

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Greetings from New Brunswick,

Today was the second race of the week, the skate sprints. The big news this morning was that the NorthWest Territories with a population of 26,000 was ahead of Ontario in the medal count and we were hoping to rectify the situation. We have some good sprinters so this was a real possibility. The course was fairly short (under 2 minutes in qualifying) and contained one good-sized hill. This is the largest hill I have ever done in a sprint and faced a decent wind. Again today the wind was a factor, though it was down to ~30 km/h.

In my sprint I went hard and thought I had skied fast until the results were posted and I ended up 21rst (less than 2 second off qualifying). One thing I learnt from this is that any small mistake on a corner or missed pole plant is huge in a race this short. There is no room for error and the angle of every pole plant can decide whether you qualify. Our Ontario men were able to qualify 3. We then put 2 in the final with Sean Crooks overpowering the field to lead the whole way, despite the wind, for a solid victory. Timo Puiras had a solid 4th place finish. It is good to get our first skiing medal and Sean Crooks was quoted as saying that "it is about time".

I hope people are enjoying the skiing in Ottawa and that the weather allows them to avoid being very cold.

 
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