Published Friday 14 February 2014

Sochi, Russia- (13 February 2014 for release 14 Feb) –  Two New Zealand skeleton racers will be in action at the Sanki Sliding Centre in the Caucasus Mountains this evening.

Wanaka based Katharine Eustace continues with day two of her competition and hopes to see her 14th place move up as she fine tunes the complex series of turns, ascents and descents on the 1.8km course.

“I was reasonably happy with how I raced today,” she said of today’s performances. “But I’ll be looking to tidy a couple of things up and hopefully improve my position.” Skeleton racers are aiming for the perfect combination of speed, aerodynamics and sled placement down the tracks.

At speeds in excess of 100km per hour it requires video analysis to examine performance. “It’s all so fast it’s hard to know what fine changes I need to make right now,” said Eustace after competition last night. 

“I’ll go back to the village now, analyse the technical aspects of my race on video, refocus, visualise and prepare,” said Eustace.

In the men’s skeleton, Ben Sandford will be looking for a solid performance in his third Olympic Games.   

This will be his first full-strength effort in competition since a crash towards the end of his qualification season left him battered and bruised. Sandford has chosen not to push during training here in Sochi in an effort to maximise recovery time.

Tomorrow’s first race will be an good indication of his progress and ability to perform to his maximum. Sandford races twice tomorrow and for a third time tomorrow night (15th Feb). The 20 racers with the lowest times will then progress to a final tomorrow night.

Sandford finished in 11th in Vancouver in 2010 and in 10th at the Torino Olympic Winter Games in 2006.

The men are in action at 1630 and 1800 local time and the women compete at 1940 and 2050 local time. 

AROUND THE REST OF THE TEAM TODAY

Up at Extreme Park freeski athletes Jossi, Byron and Beau James Wells along with Lyndon Sheehan and Janina Kuzma hit the halfpipe for day one of training ahead of their competition next week. Adam Barwood will also be training on the Alpine Course.

Christy Prior, Rebecca Torr, Shelly Gotlieb and Stefi Luxton have completed their Olympic campaigns and have left Russia. 

AROUND THE GAMES

The Curling, Ice Hockey and figure skating are still in full swing, with the Men's Large Hill Ski Jumping qualifications, Men's Super Combined Downhill and Women's aeriels starting tomorrow