Ferlazzo ready to fire

8 February 2018

LUGE: He’s two days out from his second Olympic campaign and Australia’s luge athlete Alex Ferlazzo is feeling prepped and ready to go.

The 22-year-old from North Queensland had his first official training on the PyeongChang 2018 track last night, with competition beginning on Day 1 of the Games on February 10.

“I struggled with the top part of the track on the first run, but had a good feeling by the end,” Ferlazzo said.

“The track is built really well, and I was happy to get a good feeling off the top.”

The late-night training saw the luge athletes attack the track after a busy day with bobsleigh and skeleton occupying the Alpensia Sliding Centre throughout the day.

Similarly, to his fellow sliding compatriots, Ferlazzo said the well below freezing temperatures had made for a hard and fast surface to race on.

“My sled is set up for these conditions so it's running nicely. It's a good change compared to the rest of the season to finally have some hard, fast ice.”

After finishing in 33rd place at his first Olympic Games in Sochi 2014, Ferlazzo has come a long way over the past four years, including a history-making performance when he won gold at a 2014 Junior World Cup in Canada.

The result marked Australia’s first luge medal at this level and gave Ferlazzo a boost to keep pushing towards his second Games, and this time around he says he already feels more relaxed and in control.

“Comparatively I feel more comfortable on the sled and the experience from the last Olympics combined with the last quad has put me in a good position going into these Games.”

Ferlazzo finished 8th at the 2017 U23 World Championships in Austria and claimed 24th in the Olympic test event.

Australia’s best ever male result in the fast-paced sport of luge was a 32rd place finish at the 1994 Lillehammer Games from Roger White – a result Ferlazzo will be hoping to surpass.

Helping him achieve this goal will be fellow Olympian Hannah Campbell-Pegg, who competed at the Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010 Games, finishing in 23rd at both Games.

Ferlazzo, who travels and trains with the Latvian luge team during the rest of his season, will have the added benefit of Campbell-Pegg on the sidelines, adding extra support for Australia’s only luge athlete.

“Having Hannah here has allowed me to focus on my performance as she has been handling all the behind the scenes things so that I don't have to.

“Also, being able have her here contributing to the Latvian team as an extra hand has allowed us to give back to the Latvian team for all they have done over the last three years.”

Heats 1 & 2 of the men’s luge event will be held on Day 1 (Saturday 10 February) with the final heats to be held on Day 2 (Sunday 11 February).

Ashleigh Knight

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