You’ll have to excuse my lateness in getting this blog out. WordPress seems to be a bit of an unfriendly site in China so I’ve had to wait until my arrival back in Canada to get an update on World Cup 3 out.
The cole’s notes on World Cup 3 are:
1000m: Penalty for impeding in the semi final for 8th place
1500m: 5th place in the A final.
Relay: We won the B final for 5th place after a disappointing semi final showing.
After a long travel day to Nagoya, we settled into our hotel in Japan. Liam and I drew the short stick and ended up with what was probably the smallest room in the hotel. After some quick remodeling, we got settled in without having to sleep on top of our suitcases. Not bad to get a little lesson in space management. It seems to be one of the best skills of the Japanese. There is no wasted space anywhere in the layout of the city. Every inch of building space is put to its maximum use.
Practice during the week leading into the competition was a little bit weird. Normally, the first couple of days on ice, I feel a little bit out of sorts and only get back to feeling like myself on ice after a couple of ice sessions. This time though, my first couple days after arrival were probably my most comfortable on the ice. As the week wore on, I actually became less comfortable. I don’t really have an answer as to why. We did have the last practice session of the day on both the Wednesday and Thursday though, which essentially equated to skating at 5am at home, which may have had something to do with it.
Either way, everybody skates on the same ice during the competition and my Friday qualification rounds went off fairly uneventfully. I had set a goal for myself of trying a few different strategies out and it seemed to work fairly well. Often, it’s a bit nerve racking to move away from racing strategies that you are comfortable with, but it is important to be confident and comfortable in any scenario since short track is such an unpredictable sport.
Saturday’s World Cup rounds in the final brought a bit of disappointment though. Coming up against Noh Jinkyu and Kwak Yoon-Gy, I knew I would have to sharp. I have beaten both of the them at different times this season, but this time, I ended up getting a bit aggressive trying to pass up on Kwak with one lap to go and was penalized, ending my day. I did finish up with our relay semi, in which we had one of our worst outings in a while exchange wise and were eliminated. Overall, pretty bad day.
Sunday I had to redeem myself. I qualified for the final of the 1500m with a last lap double inside pass after putting myself into some trouble earlier on in the race. Although you never want to be passing up right at the end, it was a good move for me and I was happy to be in the final. The final didn’t go as planned though and I got caught dumping speed on a botched inside pass and had to settle for 5th. My goal in each distance I skate is to be on the podium and I didn’t achieve this. Nevertheless, I still felt that my level of skating was at a good level as I left the rink on Sunday.
As always, being in Japan was a pleasure. It never ceases to amaze me how a country that is as densly populated as Japan can be so clean, neat and civilized. I suppose this is one of the reasons that Japan works so well as a society, but it truly is amazing. The people are unbelievably polite, welcoming and helpful to us visitors who can’t speak more than two words of Japanese. Hopefully I can go back soon!
Here are a couple pics from Nagoya. I only took my camera with me on a little run /visit to the Toyota Commemorative Museum of History and Technology. It was a cool museum to visit. They had full size working models of automated assembly lines as well a history of the Toyota company. I’ll bet you didn’t know they started out as designing and making textile machines before they did cars!