Short track athletes adjust to drawn-out Games schedule

10:06, February 22, 2010      

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The drawn-out nature of the Olympic short track schedule challenges skaters' focus but gives them a little extra rest compared with the gruelling World Cup itinerary.

The Vancouver Olympic Winter Games features five nights of short track competition spread across two weeks. Usually, skaters compete in world championship and World Cup events over a long weekend.

"Fourteen days is really long," the Chinese team head coach Li Yan said after training on Sunday at Killarney Centre.

"Yesterday we got a gold medal and everybody was very excited but we have to refocus. The Games are not over yet."

At the 2009 world short track championship in Vienna, which also included the non-Olympic 3,000m individual race, skaters competed from Friday to Sunday.

"It's really hard to stay focused (at the Olympic Games)," Hungarian skater Viktor Knoch said. "After the 1,000m heats, I went out to have a good time outside the Olympic Village and break the daily routine. I had a glass of beer because I had a whole week between my races."

Knoch, placed 21st in the 1,000m at the Games, said the drawn-out Olympic system was hard to adjust to, it was not as tiring for athletes as World Cup and world championship events.

Sarah Lindsay of Britain, who finished her lone event of women's 500m last Wednesday, is staying for an extra week-and-a-half to train with teammate Elise Christie, who raced in the 500m and 1,500m and will race the 1,000m.

"I'm leading some mid-pace laps so she can practise overtaking. She still needs a training partner," Lindsay said.

Four short track final medal events will be decided over the next six days, two of which are short track competition days.

Source: Xinhua
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