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2003 Canada Winter Games Update #4
By:  David Zylberberg   (2003/02/27)


Today was the one-day pursuit at Canada Games. This morning, we realised that Ontario was behind Saskatchewan in the medal standings and we were not pleased. We all hoped that a hard ski race could at least help to rectify the situation.

Today's race was 7.5 km classic and 7.5 km skating. The men's races started at 11:30 and 1:30 after a half hour delay due to cold. Since we started at 30 second intervals, me and the other late starters ony had 1 and a quarter hours between races. Vincent Renart dominated the morning's race and won by 37 seconds over Sean Crooks of Ontario, with Dave Nighbor in 3rd. The gap between 2nd and 12th was only 23 seconds so it looked like a tight battle for the remaining two medals. I was in there in 10th after the classic race.

I was lucky to get a solid start without using much energy and started to pick people off after 1.5 km. I should thank Timo Puiras for giving me a good draft and pulling nicely until then. I then moved up into the main pack, which was down to 6 after 4km. In it were Sean Crooks, Mike Argue of NWT, Kit Richmond of Alberta, Steve Lowry of Alberta, Jonathon Blais of Quebec and myself. At one point there was a little contact and I accidently broke Steve's pole. This sort of thing happens in head to head racing and was completly unintentional. Steve then made the mistake of using all his energy to stay with us and not taking a pole offered within 500m. This cost all his energy so that when he got a pole he was unable to stay in contention.

At 5km I tried to move up in the pack on a small climb and ended up in the lead so I pushed the pace. I dropped the other 4 but after a kilometre and a half began to feel the effort. Kit Richmond bridged up alone, and when I could not ski with him he went on to a solid 2nd place finish. The rest of the pack passed me 500m later and I just missed being in the sprint for 3rd, won by Mike Argue. It was nice to be competitive again and to realize that despite my earlier results this week I can be competitive. It is frustrating though to have worked so hard and been in the right position but not be able to hold it.

Today was the last individual race and Ontario has 1 medal so far (gold in sprint by Sean Crooks). The North West Territories has done well with 2 medals for Mike Argue (their only male skier) and one for Sarah Daitch today. QUebec has dominated the long races with Vincent's two golds and another strong victory from Dasha Gaizova. Tommorow is a 4x 5km relay with 2 legs Classic and 2 skate. Ontario has a good men's team and I will be skating the third leg.

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