BEIJING (Reuters) – After putting two on the rostrum at a World Cup downhill in Kitzbuhel final month, France are hoping to spring a surprise in the Alpine snowboarding speed events on the Beijing Olympics on a monitor no person may have raced on.
Veteran Johan Clarey took second place in Kitzbuhel forward of crew mate Blaise Giezendanner to increase the morale of the boys’s squad earlier than the Games.
“My ambition, my dream is to convey again a medal. That’s why I’m right here. I’m not among the many favourites as a result of there’s lots of guys who’re sooner than me however I’m coming into the Games with second and lots of confidence,” Clarey advised reporters on Wednesday.
“Also I’ve obtained no bodily issues. But I’m nonetheless going to want a little bit of luck to get one thing good, which implies a medal as a result of the rest means nothing,” added the 41-year-old, who has 9 World Cup podium finishes beneath his belt and gained silver in the super-G on the 2019 world championships.
Clarey, nevertheless, has by no means completed above 18th in both the super-G or downhill in the three earlier Games and no French skier has gained a medal in the speed events since Antoine Deneriaz claimed gold in the donwhill on the Turin Games in 2006.
No check occasion came about on the Yanqing slope due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that means no skier has but gone down the Olympic piste and they’re going to solely have three coaching classes to get the texture of the slope and the abrasive synthetic snow.
It ranges the sector of play, though Giezendanner, who was fourth in the super-G on the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, believes one of the best will nonetheless win.
“Downhill is a self-discipline in which expertise issues,” he stated.
“So I’m undecided that is going to flip all the things the other way up. Maybe there might be just a few surprises in the primary couple of trainings however by the third session, order might be restored.
“It’s up to us, underdogs, to spring a surprise.”
Matthieu Bailet believes that even when the French are usually not among the many prime favourites for Sunday’s downhill, something can occur, particularly on a course on which head coach David Chastan stated wind may dramatically impression efficiency.
“It’s a one-day race in circumstances we do not know. The concept is to profit from this chance,” Bailet stated.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)