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Farrow & Narracott chasing history at skeleton track

14 February 2018

SKELETON: On the eve of the 2018 Olympic skeleton competition, Aussie sliders John Farrow and Jackie Narracott are feeling ready to race after completing six official training runs at the Alpensia Sliding Centre.

The pair have spent the last three days getting both themselves and their sleds in the best condition possible as they chase Australia’s best Olympic results.

 “Training runs were really good – on the last day of training the weather’s gone really warm, so that threw a little spanner in the works but overall I’m happy with the runs,” Farrow said.

The 36-year-old explained that weather has played a big role in their preparation in PyeongChang and now he’s finally figured out the best strategy to attack the track, as the weather forecast predicts below freezing temperatures in coming days.

“My earlier training runs were on really cold ice, so I’m going to look at that weather tonight and make a decision about how to go about it, but it’ll probably be looking towards really cold weather,” he said.

“Those weather changes can make the difference between winning and losing. I’m going to have a good look at them tonight, then we’ll be ready to go.”

Farrow said he was really pumped about racing tomorrow morning, saying his team of coaches and performance managers have put in the hard yards.

“We’ve stuck to the plan and everything just flowed really nicely,” he said.

“Training’s gone according to plan. Everything’s in place now and it’s just up to me to perform tomorrow.”

While the Sydney-sider is chasing his own best Olympic performance, which also happens to be Australia’s top male skeleton result -- a 17th place finish -- he is also looking ahead to the future of the sport.

“We struggle in this sport, coming from a warm nation. To keep pushing to be our best at every Olympics is an amazing achievement,” he said.

“17th is the result. If we can keep raising that, it’ll keep raising a culture of performance and excellence. That’s really my goal.”

Being at his second Olympic Games, Farrow said he feels comfortable, knows what to expect and hopefully can bring about a top ten result.

“For Australia, in not just skeleton but all the sliding sports, if you can get a top ten and mix it with all of the really strong nations, that’s an extraordinary result,” he said.

“If I could pull that off it’ll be amazing, and I think with all the work I’ve done I can at least achieve that high standard I’ve set for myself.”

Sidelined tomorrow, but ready to take on the track herself on Friday is Farrow’s female counterpart, Jackie Narracott who is busting to make her Olympic debut.

“Official training has been good,” Narracott said after explaining that she had made progress on every run.

“The track is great. Ice has been hard and fast for the most part.

“I need to stay relaxed and execute like I have the last couple of runs and I'll be sweet.”

Being her first Olympic campaign Narracott said the nerves were starting to kick in but she’s feeling good and is looking forward to cheering on her green and gold team mate.  

Narracott will also be chasing down Australia’s best female result, a 10th place set by Emma Lincoln-Smith at the Vancouver 2010 Games

“As far as what I'll be thinking it's all about 4 hard pushes and 4 consistent runs,” she said.

“Hopefully that puts me top 8 and either equal to or better than our best ever result. If it doesn't than it won't be for lack of trying.”

To beat that result would be a huge accomplishment for Narracott, who is following in her uncle’s footsteps who was the first Australian to compete at both a Summer and Winter Olympics.

“From where I started to beat Em's result would be amazing. Everything I've been through will be justified.”

The Queenslander said she’s really been enjoying the team atmosphere and will take to the track on February 16, while Farrow hits the track for run 1 and 2 of the men’s competition tomorrow at 10am local time.

The top 40 men in the world, 20 in the women, will line up on the Alpensia start line all vying for a spot on the top of the Olympic podium. S

Ashleigh Knight

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