#8 Slovenia-You Go Girls!
This country preview has been an easy one to write, mainly because I only have to write about one sex, the women. With a men’s team that is non-existent, let’s focus on the women shall we?
Out of the 185 men that scored points in the distance and sprint races last year, zero of those athletes were Slovenian men. Kind of makes it hard to do a preview when there’s nothing to write about.
It’s a one women show here, and her name is Petra Madjic. After her unfortunate incident before the individual sprint at the Olympics, it should be interesting to see how Majdic’s preparations went over the summer. Even though she missed the final four distance races of the season, she still pulled in 425 points and finished 8th in the distance standings. After Majdic, there’s really no one that can compete at the World Cup level quite yet.
See “MEN’S DISTANCE”, except it was 118 men who scored points instead of 185.
This is why they finished as the eighth best country in the world last year; having three athletes in the top 11 of the sprint standings. We all know how impressive Majdic is on the sprint course, and just to prove it, she broke a couple of ribs, punctured a lung, and still medaled on the biggest stage in the world. Though, she’s not the only one who has the ability to win every time she hits the start line. Her teammate Vesna Fabjan has turned into a skate sprint specialist to be reckoned with. Even though it was a weakened field, she managed her first World Cup success in Rybinsk at the end of January. This was one of the four times she made it to the A-final last year. The third skier in this terrific trio is Katja Visnar who had a breakout season in 2009-2010. Though, not making it onto the podium, she showed she can consistently finish in the top 30 including three top 10′s.
Scrolling through the WJC results from last year, you can’t put too much stock into the likes of Nika Razinger who just turned 17 last month. But you look at the U23 sprint results and you see another female sprinter who has the SLO beside her name that finished 6th. The 21-year-old Alenka Cebasek might be might be looking at a couple more World Cup starts other than Rogla races this year.
The men? Nada. Nothing. Zilch.
Slovenia truly has all their eggs in one basket once again this year. It’s women sprinting or bust… and Madjic in the distance. I can’t see Slovenian men make any impression whatsoever on the men’s field inside the next five years. So, go girls go!