|Part 2 in the Jurg Capol series: The Future of the Sprint|
Jurg Capol is the FIS Race Director for Cross-Country and possibly the most influential force in the sport today.
www.wintersport.as caught up with Mr. Capol this spring, asking him questions regarding the present and future of cross-country.
His responses will be published in a series this spring that will be available on skifaster.net. This is the second part in the series, looking at the sprint event.
There were several bad incidents in sprints towards the end of the season (i.e-Larsson and Svartedal, Lind and Naess, Bjerkeli and Fredriksson).
A great many people have opinions on this matter. Sweden’s head coach Roennestrand says the jury should have acted earlier to set the pattern earlier in the season.
Wintersports: What is your comment on these matters and how will the jury be instructed for the future on these matters?
Jurg Capol: At the committee meeting this summer we will discuss the duty of the jury during sprint competitions. One solution may be to have a referee with the right competence and also the right to act. These guidelines will be clearer after the meeting in Miami.
WS: Will racers again be allowed to enter as the 5th athlete (or an extra athlete for the quarters/semis/finals) as was the case in previous season?
JC: Not by today’s rules, no.
WS: How will the general format of the sprint be structured for the future?
JC: The aim is to integrate the whole cross-country family, we have no intentions to have 2 different series. All sprint events will continue to count in the overall world cup.
WS: Will more racers progress to the quarters and will there more racers per heat?
JC: There is a chance that as many as 32 athletes will progress from the qualifications, this will mean that there will be no brake between the qualification and the heats and that there will be one extra heat to ski, thus after the qualification there will 8 heats with 4 athletes, then 4 heats, 2 heats and one. Due to tracks it will be difficult to have more than 4 athletes in each heat.
WS: And what about the distances for the sprint?
JC: Slowly increasing, thus a little longer than last season.
WS: And the mix classic/skate and number of events?
JC: 50 / 50 will continue.
WS: And what about the sprint relays, will they be in the same format or will they be shorter?
JC: I guess, the length of the team sprint is ok; we should stay with this format. We believe the sprint relays during the 2005 world championships will be of great interest for spectators and the tv audidences.
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