Today was qualifying day in Norway; timed qualifying that is. The system was tested the day before and all signs were good to go. Riders gathered on the hill at 9:00 for a warm-up run and then race down on an empty track with a transponder around their ankle.
We had some minor hiccups, but nothing serious (which had a lot of impact on the riders). Kevin Reimer set the quickest time with 1:42.705 in the morning, so in the afternoon session riders were keen on trying to beat Kevin's time, but most of them weren't up to it.
Dillon Stephens however did manage to beat Reimer in the 2nd run, setting a run of 1:42.185, shaving of about half a second of Kevin's time. After that you could see him hanging around the monitor, looking if someone would beat that time, but no one did, until the final run, where things got really intense and exciting.
Querin Ilmer was on fire here (as he was in Spain last week), riding 1:42's and 1:43's every run so he got very close. It wasn't until the last quali run, he actually beat Kevin's time by 7/100 of a second.
Kevin then did his last run and improved with 1:42.113. When Dillon Stephens saw his time being broken, he geared up again, since he wanted to take another crack at it. His push off didn't seem very hard/good, but yet he managed to beat Kevin by 7/10 of a second (1:41.143). Another surprise came from Thiago Gomes Lessa who was the last one to take a quali run and managed to finish just behind Dillon with 1:41.164.
Top 10 qualifiers
- Dillon Stephens (CAN) 1:41,143
- Tiago Gomez Lessa (BRA) 1:41,164
- Kevin Reimer (CAN) 1:42,113
- Carlos Paixao (BRA) 1:42,190
- Erik Lundberg (SWE) 1:42,361
- Quirin Ilmer (AT) 1:42,630
- Connor Ferguson (AUS) 1:42,879
- Max Ballesteros (BRA) 1:43,048
- Anders Inde (SWE) 1:43,144
- Mauritz Armfelt (SWE) 1:43,262
Fastest junior was Johannes Aalholm (N) with 1:43,495.
Fastest woman was Emily Pross (USA) with 1:46,090.
Fastest luger was Abdil Mahdzan (MAL) with 1:42.161.
Due to an error on our side, the times were registered but not displayed correctly, so we had to manually calculate 2 runs for 120 people which took us about 5 hours of Excel work... It was so boring and mind numbing, but that's part of the deal when volunteering for the IDF 🙂
Photos: Martin Espeseter