Cross-Country Canada issued an amendment Tuesday to the selection procedures for the Canadian Olympic team that will compete at the Pyeongchang Games in February.
We got some clarification.
The big hurdle is that Canada’s quota has been set at 9 by the International Ski Federation (FIS). Cross-Country Canada (CCC) had hoped to send 7 men and 5 women to the Games, now there will be only 5 and 4 respectively. At least for the moment.
Six men, Alex Harvey, Valjas Len, Devon Kershaw, Jess Cockney, Knute
Johnsgaard, Graeme Killick and two women, Emily Nishikawa and Dahria Beatty, meet the selection criterias, but since the team must have at least four men and four women, one of the men, Killick, is being left behind even though he fulfilled the Alternate Qualifying Criteria A.
Therefore two women, one for sprint and one for distance, will be selected at the qualifying races at Mont Sainte-Anne January 6th to 9th.
The woman selected in the sprint will be so by a combination of her placing in the final sprint heat AND sprint qualifier round.
It is important to note that the winner of the event will not necessarily be the one chosen!
A men’s sprint will also be held, in the event that an 11th Canadian athlete would make it to the Games (see below).
A bit more complicated, because there will be two races, a 10 km classic (interval start) and a skiathlon. In the distance qualification, at least one victory will be mandatory, but both races will have equal importance.
The selected athlete, unless she wins both races, will be the one who, among the two winners, will have obtained the highest finishing position in the race she did not win.
In the event of a tie, CCC will select the one closest in time behind the winner of the race in which she did not win.
A 10th place could be reallocated to Canada through the reallocation of unused
FIS quota places. In which case Graeme Killick will be reinstated.
If an 11th place were to become available, it would be awarded to a men’s sprinter, as CCC determined that it is among men’s sprinters that Canada has the best chance of a top 30 at the Games, which is the minimum goal.
Finally a 12th place would go to a female distance athlete.
Voilà, the table is set. With the scarcity of available positions, the competition will be all the more intense at Mont Sainte-Anne and it’s absolutely impossible to predict anything.