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Aussie trio aims to leave Games on a high

SMP Images

WITH the closing ceremony of the Sochi Games just two sleeps away, the Australian team will be looking to skiers Kat Crema, Jenny Owens and Sami Kennedy-Sim to add to its light medal haul tonight.

The trio will test their mettle in the ski cross, an action-packed race which is based on the snowboarding discipline boardercross and made its Olympic debut in Vancouver in 2010.

Kennedy-Sim knows all about pushing past your comfort zone.

Last April the 25-year-old freestyle skier from Manly suffered a minor stroke and had to fight her way back to fitness. Luckily it was not too serious and she was back racing.

She qualified for Sochi in December, finishing fourth at a World Cup event in France - a remarkable achievement just eight months after her stroke.

Crema, an architecture student from Melbourne, is competing in her second Olympics and is pushing for a much better finish than the 15th she managed in Canada last time around.

"I made the switch from alpine skiing to ski cross about two years before Vancouver and haven't looked back," she said.

"Last Olympics I was pretty new to the sport, I was the rookie amongst the girls.

"The four years since then have been incredible for my skiing, confidence and ability and my goal here is to make the big final. I don't see why I can't set the bar high and go for a medal."

Crema got her first taste of the track on the weekend, getting in a couple of training runs on the crisp white snow.

"The course layout is similar to the World Cup race last year, just bigger in every aspect," said the 25-year-old. "Bigger jumps, bigger berms, bigger features.

"I was terrified and excited at the same time. The adrenaline rush I get from skiing this thing is huge.

"As soon as I had completed one run, I wanted to head straight back up for another.

"The feeling of pushing yourself past your comfort zone and coming out on top is addictive, and probably why I love this sport."

Owens, who completes the Aussie trio, is competing in her third Games with Sochi to be her last hurrah.

She was 13th in Vancouver despite carrying a knee injury and is looking to press further and end her career on a high.

In other competition today, Greta Small, Emily Bamford and Lavinia

Chrystal will be in action in the women's slalom, while Deanna Lockett will line-up in the quarter-finals of the 1000m speed skating.

 

1. Norway

10
4
7
2. United States
8
6
11
3. Germany
8
7
7
4. Russia
7
9
7
5. Canada
7
9
4
6. Netherlands
6
7
9
7. Switzerland
6
3
2
8. Belarus
5
0
1
9. France
4
4
7
10. Poland
4
0
0
22. Australia
0
2
1

Topics:  sochi winter olympics


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