My day started with the qualifier. I felt a little messy and didn't ski as smoothly as I had hoped but it was good enough for 14th position. I felt really strong and controlled in my quarter final and I moved into 2nd spot at the start of the double pole finish and stayed solidly in 2nd to the finish, which moved me on to the semi finals. My semi final was very tight and fast and we were all close coming down the finishing stretch. I tried to make a move at the start of the double pole section and switched to a different track but it was much slower with windblown snow and I had to switch back onto the train, wasting some energy in the process. Coming into the finish I was forced into a slower track and I didn't have the power I needed to catch the front girls. I ended up 6th in a lunge for the finish. There were only 1.3 seconds separating 1st from 6th in my heat and were 7 seconds faster than the other semi final heat. There was no B-final so places 7-12 were assigned. There were 3 possible ranking methods and my final placing could have been 8th (semi-final time), 11th (semi-final position then semi-final time) or 12th depending on the method. Unfortunately it was done based on finishing position in the semi-final then qualification time so I ended up in 12th.
I was excited to have a chance to race in the semi-finals this year since I had a bad experience at my last U23 champs sprint in France. Officially I came 12th that year but I was 13th on race day and I just missed making the semi finals. I was bumped into 12th place 6 months later when the winner was disqualified due to a doping infraction. At the same time, once I was in the semis of course I wanted to move through to the final so it was disappointing to miss out on the final in such a tight finish.
It was a successful day for the boys as Jess got lucky and got a place in the final due to a disqualification, finishing in 6th overall and Lenny got unlucky with a slow track and just missed the final, coming 7th. Emily was 22nd, Sara 30th, and Erin 31st.
Tomorrow I race the 15km pursuit then we are driving straight to Helsinki. We fly out of Helsinki Tuesday morning and arrive in Calgary early Wednesday morning.
Thanks to Eric Bailey for the action photos!
|Start of my quarter final|
|Start of my semi final|
|Thursday's skate race|
|Farmhouse where we are staying|