Sports » Features

Janyk leads Canadian effort in Austria


Whistler skier misses first World Cup podium by 0.02 seconds

It takes 0.3 seconds for a human eye to blink. About one-fifteenth of that time was all that separated Whistler’s Britt Janyk from her first World Cup podium in Semmering, Austria on Dec. 28.

It was the 22-year-old’s best World Cup result to date in the giant slalom, and her second-best result after finishing fifth in a combined event last season.

"It was a very nice Christmas present to have," said Janyk. "The result made spending Christmas in Europe all worthwhile.

"This is definitely my best result ever. I’ve had some really good second runs this year and I just wanted to carry that forward today. A podium would have been great, and I’m looking forward to the day it does come.

"Today opened my eyes and let me see how close I am to the podium. I just have to continue to go out and race it."

The sixth place finish moved Janyk to 16 th in the giant slalom standings. At GS events at Park City, Utah and Val d’Isere, France, she finished 10 th and 23 rd respectively. She has also cracked the top-30 in World Cup competition six out of nine races this season, to rank 41 st in the overall World Cup standings.

Janyk was sitting in 13 th position after her first run, and went for broke on her second attempt. She posted the second-fastest second run in the group, moving up seven positions to tie for sixth with Swiss champion Sonja Nef.

It was a close race, with less than a second separating first place from 10th. Janyk’s combined time of two minutes 11.81 seconds put her 0.71 seconds back of Karen Putzer of Italy (2:11.10), who walked away from Semmering with the gold medal.

Janica Kostelic of Croatia was second in 2:11.47, and Nicole Hosp of Austria and Denis Karbon of Italy tied for third in 2:11.79. In fifth place, 1/100 th of a second back, was Brigitte Obermoser of Austria in 2:11.80.

Allison Forsyth of Nanaimo, B.C. was next on the list for Canada, finishing 22 nd . Genevieve Simard of Val Morin, Quebec, was 24 th .

In the slalom on the following day, Janica Kostelic won her third gold medal of the season with a two-run time of one minute, 38.67 seconds – a full 1.11 seconds ahead of Christol Pascal of France and 1.78 seconds ahead of third place Nicole Gius of Italy.

It was a disappointing day for the Canadian squad, with all three racers failing to qualify for a second run. Forsyth was 40 th , Simard 44 th and Janyk failed to finish.

As a result of the warm weather and the choppy conditions, 10 of the top-30 failed even to finish their second run.

"Our women went hard, but they got bounced around a bit and just didn’t have the runs they needed," said Canadian coach Jim Pollock.

A week earlier, Janyk was the top Canadian at a World Cup slalom at Lenzerheide, Switzerland, finishing 19 th . She started the day from the 55 th start position and moved up to 24 th after her first run.

"I’m really happy with my day," said Janyk after that race. "I’m building my confidence and my consistency."

Simard was 13 th in the women’s combined race.

Add a comment