Hebrew English

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Results are in!

I just managed to pull up the official Senior Men Marathon Results of the www.cali2007rollersport.com website, and I did much, MUCH better than I thought. At 56 place, out of 105, I'm nearly smack in the middle of the list. Placed ahead of quiet a few athletes from Colombia, The USA and South Korea, who had impressive results in all the other races. That just goes to show how far a little bit of perseverance can take you.

Here is a copy of the results, in case the official site goes down:
1 120 United States - Estados Unidos JOSEPH MANTIA R. ORO/GOLD
4 84 Italy - Italia GREGORIO DUGGENTO
5 86 Italy - Italia LUCA PRESTI
6 53 France - Francia YANN GUYADER
8 40 Colombia - Colombia NELSON GARZON ORDONEZ
9 52 France - Francia THOMAS BOUCHER
10 68 Holland - Holanda SJOERD HUISMAN
12 125 Venezuela - Venezuela DANIEL ALVAREZ
13 37 Colombia - Colombia JORGFE LUIS CIFUENTES MENDEZ
14 137 Switzerland - Suiza SEVERIN WIDMES
15 117 Switzerland - Suiza NICOLAS ITEN
16 33 China Taipei - China Taipei WEI-LIN LO
17 57 Germany - Alemania PASCAL RAMALI
18 38 Colombia - Colombia JUAN NAYIB TOBON CUERO
19 121 United States - Estados Unidos JOSHUA WOOD R.
20 129 Venezuela - Venezuela JOSE A. BASTIDAS
21 116 Switzerland - Suiza ADRIAN LEEMANN
22 51 France - Francia JULIEN SOURRISSEAU
23 1 Argentina - Argentina DAMIAN FERNANDEZ
24 94 New Zealand - Nueva Zelanda REYON KAY
25 2 Argentina - Argentina DAVID SIANO
26 128 Venezuela - Venezuela JAVIER OYALBIS
27 49 France - Francia FABIEN HASCOET
28 5 Argentina - Argentina RUBEN MARTINEZ
29 56 Germany - Alemania NICO WIEDUWILT
30 126 Venezuela - Venezuela FABRIZIO ERVITTI
31 87 Italy - Italia MATTEO AMABILI
32 118 United States - Estados Unidos JAMES CHEEK M.
33 31 China Taipei - China Taipei LI-TSE TANG
36 47 Ecuador - Ecuador LUIS CHICAIZA
37 42 Costa Rica ALBERT ARCE
38 76 Iran - Iran AMIN MOHAZEBNIA
39 17 Brazil - Brasil GELBERTO VELOSO
40 101 Poland - Polonia BARTOSZ PISAREK
41 64 Guatemala - Guatemala MARCO VINICIO TZUL LOPEZ
42 91 Mexico - Mexico MARCOS MOTTA SANCHEZ
43 44 Costa Rica JHONSON ROJAS
44 103 South Africa - Sudafrica MARCEL LOUW
45 74 India - India SATHI BRAHMA TEJA
46 21 Canada - Canada SERGIO ALMERALLA CALVA
47 15 Brazil - Brasil EDINAZIO DE OLIVEIRA
48 16 Brazil - Brasil EDSON ALMEIDA
49 102 South Africa - Sudafrica BRIAN BALOYI
51 60 Great Britain - Gran Bretana GRUIN POLLOCK
53 30 China Taipei - China Taipei CHUNG - WEI CHIANG
54 140
55 99 Pakistan - Pakistan MEHER EJAZ AHMED
56 81 Israel - Israel BOAZ ARAD
58 71 India - India DEO SUYASH SUNEEL
59 70 Hong Kong - Hong Kong DANIEL YEE KAI YEOW
60 61 Great Britain - Gran Bretana SIMON DAVIS
61 69 Hong Kong - Hong Kong BONE HO CHEUNG LEE
62 50 France - Francia JULIEN DESPAUX
62 104 South Korea - Korea del Sur HOUN HE LEE
63 122 United States - Estados Unidos JUSTIN STELLY J.
65 65 Holland - Holanda MARK HORSTEN
66 12 Belgium - Belgica FERRE SPRUYT
67 119 United States - Estados Unidos JONATHAN GARCIA A.
68 123 United States - Estados Unidos SEBASTIAN CANO
69 35 Colombia - Colombia CAMILO ANDREZ OROZCO FUENTES
70 73 India - India MARUVADA CHAITANYA
71 98 New Zealand - Nueva Zelanda WAYNE BEGG
72 89 Mexico - Mexico ALAN CORONADO FIGUEROA
73 11 Australia - Australia SAMUEL EVANS
74 7 Australia - Australia COREY PRICE
75 130 Venezuela - Venezuela JUAN JOSE JARDINE
76 18 Brazil - Brasil PAULO MARQUEZ
77 133 Cuba - Cuba TONY GARCIA ACUNA
78 55 Germany - Alemania MATTHIAS SCHWIERZ
79 54 Germany - Alemania DENNIS DRESSEL
80 107 South Korea - Korea del Sur MYUNG KYU LEE
81 58 Germany - Alemania VICTOR WILKING
82 66 Holland - Holanda MICHEL MULDER
83 3 Argentina - Argentina EZEQUIEL CAPELLANO
84 4 Argentina - Argentina GONZALO SEGUEL
85 6 Australia - Australia ANDREW FINSTER
86 9 Australia - Australia EDWARD DIMMACK
87 14 Brazil - Brasil DOUGLAS DONATO C
88 28 China - China HUO JIAMING
89 32 China Taipei - China Taipei PEI-HSUAN HO
90 34 China Taipei - China Taipei YEN-SHENG LIAO
91 41 Colombia - Colombia OSWALDO SAEZ PERNETT
92 43 Costa Rica ALVARO GUZMAN
93 48 Ecuador - Ecuador PEDRO COELLAR
94 59 Great Britain - Gran Bretana CHRISSTOPHER STAFFOR
95 67 Holland - Holanda RONALD MULDER
96 82 Italy - Italia FABIO FRANCOLINI
97 93 New Zealand - Nueva Zelanda PETER HOMBURG
98 95 New Zealand - Nueva Zelanda SCOTT ARLIDGE
99 96 New Zealand - Nueva Zelanda SHANE DOBBIN
100 97 New Zealand - Nueva Zelanda SHAUN PERKINSON
101 105 South Korea - Korea del Sur JUN HEE LEE
102 106 South Korea - Korea del Sur MIN HO KIM
103 109 South Korea - Korea del Sur YOO JONG NAM
104 124 Venezuela - Venezuela ALEJANDRO SILVA
105 136 Switzerland - Suiza RAPHAEL PFULG


Sunday, August 26, 2007

Finally - The Marathon!

World Inline Speedskating Championships, Cali, Colombia.

After the marathon in Cali 2007Yesterday I raced the marathon in Cali, it was the race I was most anticipating to race. Even more so after I was unable to complete the full leanght of any other long distance race during the championships.

The day began with pouring rain, all the skaters, myself included, changed over to rain wheels. The junior ladies skated in the rain. Followed by the junior men who skated in the remaining mud. Senior ladies skated in rather dry condition, and finally, for me in the senior mens division, the road was completely dry, and the sun came out - way out.

After waiting for over four hours for the previous races, we finally lined up on the staring line. There was quiet a crowd lining the street from both sides for as far as the eye could see. Excitement mounted as the motorbikes took their place, and the official judges gave out final instructions.

Without much warning, we were off. Due to the huge amount of skaters and tight quarters, the start of this race was snail paced compared to all the other I participated in during the worlds. I manged to get in the pack, and kept the pace for a few kilometers.

A tight turn with a wet strip at the apex nearly sent me to the ground. A quick jump averted the disaster. As the pack began to shuffle and pick up the pace, I began to fade farther and farther into the back of it. After another kilometer or two, I finally lost the last skater - staying in the pack for what I estimate was no more than 6-8 kilometers.

I skated alone for a kilometer or two, during which a Chinese Taipei skater began catching up with me from behind. I tried to fall in behind him and take advantage of the draft, but he clipped my skate as I was moving in behind him - nearly sending me to the ground again. By the time I recovered, he was long gone.

After that, a pack of Indian skaters, along with one from Hong Kong, caught up with me. I joined them, and together we caught up with a Costa-Rican skater that subsequently joined our pack. After changing leads for a while. All the skaters in the pack faded back but one Indian skater that stayed with me.

We changed leads for 12 kilometers or so, but towards the end my new partner began loosing power, and pulling less and less. I finally decided to take my chances, and pick up the pace at the price of loosing my drafting partner. He held on to me for a few kilometers, staying in my draft, but faded a short while later. If your reading this #71 - Thanks for the pull!

At this point, less than halfway through the race, I found myself alone, in blistering heat, and battling wind that seemed to always blow opposite to my direction of travel, regardless of which way the road was going. In other words - exactly like I was used to training in Israel :)

Even tough I was slow and alone, the thinner crowd along this section of country road cheered me along waving flags, yelling "go Israel" or "Vamos Israel, Fuerte!", making me feel great and giving me the energy to keep going.

As I was skating alone, I saw quiet a few pro skaters who had lost the pack and given up. I saw skaters from New-Zealand, Australia and more. These pros, who beat me in every race up to now, were going to lose their placing in the marathon to me - simply because I had the willpower to continue regardless of my final placing, and they didn't.

When I finally reached the finish line, the crowed cheered me in, even though I arrived over half an hour after the first skater. Crossing the finish line I felt amazing. I had a good race, and probably scored my best placement in the worlds so far.

More news coverage!

World Inline Speedskating Championships, Cali, Colombia.

Newspaper Coverage Cali 2007 On the 25th, the "El-Pais" (translates as: The Country) newspaper published a full page article about me in the sports section. This time the main point of interest was the fact that my mother was born in Bogota.

Click the picture to see the full article. You might also notice, that beside the main article, there is a small "spotlight" section on Joey Mantia (upper left). I really got a kick out of seeing my picture plastered on a whole page, while Joey got a passport picture sized square :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

20K Elimination Race

World Inline Speedskating Championships, Cali, Colombia. 

I just got off the track after the 20K Elimination race. Keeping in mind what I have learned from competing with all these world class skaters the past few days - I started as fast as I could (which still opened a gap between me and the skater in front of me) and dived into the pack full force.

By the time I cleared the first curve, I couldn't believe it, but I was in the pack. Not tailgating the last two skater, but actually in the pack, with about 10 skaters behind me. Keeping up to race speed was much easier in the pack, but I quickly found out that I have a lot to learn about pack dynamics. Every few seconds the pack would shuffle, and it seemed like everybody knew exactly were to go but me. Every time this happened, a skater or two would pass me, and then I would catch up, sometimes riding in two of my overtaker.

After about two or three laps of this, the pack behind me began getting quiet thin, and I lost my draft during a pack shuffle. On my own now, I took comfort in the fact that I saw at least one Indian skater behind me. I then focused all my energy, both mental and physical on staying ahead of him, and not being lapped out before the next elimination.

"Push, Reach, Push. Keep your hands of you knees, stay low, repeat". This mantra kept me going for about three more laps against a vicious headwind, until the anticipated elimination got me off the track. When I got off, I counted at least four skaters that were already waiting on the sidelines.

Having improved the amount of laps I actually managed to skate, and maybe even my overall ranking compared to the last race, I'm quiet happy with the results. The official ranking has not yet been posted, I´ll be sure to update when they are.

Local Media Star

World Inline Speedskating Championships, Cali, Colombia.

Local Media StarThe local media is making quiet an issue about the fact that I am here in Cali alone. Pumping the angle that I function as Delegation leader, Coach, Photographer, Skater Etc. Today I had another TV interview, during which they insisted on shooting some videos of me taking pictures of myself.

I've uploaded quiet a few new pictures, mostly of the 10K and 500's.

500m Road Race

World Inline Speedskating Championships, Cali, Colombia.

This morning I raced the quarter finals for 500m track. I was up against athletes from the USA, France, Brazil and Mexico. The first two of each heat qualify for the semifinals. I had a good start, nearly hanging on to the pack for about 2/3 of a lap (the whole race is 1.25 laps). Eventually I lost them completely, and continued to concentrate on getting the best time I could.

Being last in my heat, I did not qualify for the semifinal, but I think I had a good run, and I have a feeling that I won't be last when the final results are announced (disqualified athletes are ranked by the qualifying runs time).

Tonight I race the 20K Points Elimination Road Race, and I'm hoping to do better than the 10K last night.

10K Points Road Race

World Inline Speedskating Championships, Cali, Colombia. 

Yesterday was the 10K Points Road race. I had a better start than the last races, only nearly avoiding a massive crash on the starting line, that left an Ecuadorian skater lying bruised on the ground. I managed to stay with the pack for about a round and a half, then once I was alone, focused all my energy on not being lapped by the lead pack.

While I was alone, The Equadorian skater who fell earlier actually managed to get back up to speed and pass me. He was quiet impressive and probably would have done well if not for his fall. I managed to hold out for nearly 5 laps, until being eliminated for being overtaken by the lead pack. At 54th place, I'm 4th from last which is the best I've done so far.

I found out this morning that there was a TV interview of me broadcast last night, Since my Spanish isn't great, I couldn't quiet figure out what channel or what was the content of the broadcast. Either way, I'm getting quiet a lot of media coverage here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Front page news!

World Inline Speedskating Championships, Cali, Colombia. 

Fornt page news on El-Colombiano NewspaperAn article published today in the "El-Colombiano" newspaper featured me on the front page of the sports section. My Spanish isn't all that good, but I believe it is part of a larger article about how all the different nations at the competition are getting along. It also talks about the fact that since I am alone here, I function as the Israeli skater, delegation leader, coach, photographer and so on...

Click the photo for the full article.

Today were my 200m Road time trials, scoring 24.41 left me last in the senior men category. Cutting two tenths of a second off my time would have placed me second from last, ahead of Hong-Kong. Still, I'm having a great time, and hoping to do better in the 10K points race tonight. My goal is to last at least 10 laps before being lapped out of the race.

I also just heard that the marathon will not be a point-to-point race, as I though it would, but will have a 8K roundabout at the end of it. This means that slower skaters might be lapped out and eliminated even in the marathon. I am truly hoping to be able to complete the marathon. At least the possibility of being eliminated is great motivation to skate faster :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

500 Meter Track Race

World Inline Speedskating Championships, Cali, Colombia. 

500m TrackToday I raced the 500m Track, I was in the first heat, along with two Koreans (who have been putting on amazing performances so far), Two Americans (Joey included), and one Brazilian. So just keeping up would be very, very hard.

Again, I didn't have a good start, but nearly caught up with the pack on the first corner, after that, I lost them completely. By the end of the race they gained nearly half a lap on me.

Regardless, it was a great race, and just being there was worth it. Click the photo for a very nice larger version!

Jason McDaniel and my new castsLater I got casted by Jason McDaniel for a custom boot. He owns his own brand, and makes the customs for Cado Motus as well. Haven't decided if I'll get the boots yet, but since I probably won't have another chance to get casted, so I figured its worth 15 minutes of my time.

Tonight I'll be watching the relay races and tomorrow is our day off.

Finally some photos!

Cali 2007 inaguration ceremonyI´ve finally got some photos up, check them out here.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Baptism by fire

World Inline Speedskating Championships, Cali, Colombia. 

During the Junior Ladies 15k track elimination race, a crash left two skaters rather severely injured. I doubt they'll be racing again this Worlds. They may not be able to race at all. These two were only the worse of the lot - there was quiet a pileup.

After similar events occurred during the Junior mens race, I began to think that it may not have been such a good Idea to race track after all. Nevertheless, after the senior ladies race, I took my place at the starting line. Second row from the start, two guys to the left of Joey Mantia, and in front of Peter Doucet of speedskateworld.com (and Canad, for that matter). This was the first time the caliber of skaters I was racing with really sunk in.

With the Indian skater just 30cms or so in front of me, and the memories of the recent pileup still vivid, I was afraid to start at full force. I and figured I'll start just slightly slower so I don't bump into the guy in front of me. This was a fatal mistake, I was quickly pushed pack right from the start, and found myself skating the course left to right, fighting to find someone to draft.

Without a proper draft I quickly faded, managing to skate less than three laps before being eliminated along with Cheung Lee of Hong Kong. At least I managed to stay ahead of him, thus ranking second from last. Later during the race Mick Byrne of Austrelia was disqualified for fouls, thus pushing me up to third from last.

On the bright side, this was a learning experience. During my upcoming road races, I'll be sure to start with all I'vegot, and if I end up running into the guy in front of me, I'll give him a push. I'm sure he'll appreciate the boost.

Being my first ever international race, it truly was baptism by fire. I really was hoping to complete at least six or eight laps, but all in all, 56th place in the Worlds is not that bad...

Racing Today!

World Inline Speedskating Championships, Cali, Colombia.

Today I finally got my first chance to have some track and road time at the stadium. The skaters here are blisteringly fast, and most of the ones I skated with during the warm ups were juniors...

Still, I don't think I'll find myself finishing last at the races.

After giving the banked track a go, I started feeling pretty comfortable with it, and decided to enter into the track races as well. This means that my first race at the worlds will be tonight! The 15k points elimination at 17:00. I'm going to try my best to stay ahead, and avoid elimination for as longs as I can. Being one of the 17 skaters to finish the whole 75 laps would be amazing, though I'm not counting on it.

I'll also be racing the 500 meters tomorrow morning, so be sure to tune in.


Saturday, August 18, 2007

My first days in Cali

World Inline Speedskating Championships, Cali, Colombia.

I haven't been able to get at a computer (or a phone for that matter) since I landed in Cali on Thursday (the 16th). The past few days have been amazing, and I'll try to recap a bit of them for you. Unfortunately there will be no pictures, as I have no way of uploading them just yet.

On Thursday, an official transport picked me up from the airport. I was taken to the Mudejar hotel, where I met the Pakistani, Moroccan, South African and Polish teams. They are all very nice people, and we have since become good friends. Sebastian of inlinenews.de was also part of our group - he came over to Coach the Moroccan skater.

On Friday morning I went to see the track the Colombians had prepared for the races. It was quiet impressive. A pristine asphalt 400m road track and a shining new, masterfully constructed 200m banked track.They also had all the participating nations flags flying alongside the road track.

The first event I participated in was the technical mini-congress - a meeting where all the delegation leaders were briefed as to how the events will take place.  Every country had a small flag on it's desk (yes, even Israel!) and I felt like some sort of ambassador. There was a lottery to determine the order in which the countries will race. Later during the meeting  I was taken aside by one of the organizers in order to listen to the national anthem they had prepared in case I win any races. The Colombians apparently had no difficulty getting our flag and anthem right. The Italians on the other hand, had some trouble, as their flag was hung upside down at the track.

We returned to the hotel for lunch, and were quickly shuttled back to the track for the opening ceremony. At the track, there were flags waiting for each delegation, and Colombian army pilot cadets in full ceremonial dress were there to carry banners with the countries names. There was also a full brass band. We ended up waiting to begin the ceremony for over three hours. We passed the time by playing a multi national game of ball tossing. I have never seen so many people so excited by a simple ball...
When it was time to finally march out, each nation was also assigned a girl in what they belived to be "customary dress" for that nation. The Israeli girl was not far off (if you consider the Givatron bands outfit custom Israeli dress) - but had something on her head that I can only assume was supposed to be a Yamaka. I was quiet amused by this.
Marching out into the arena, I couldn't be prouder of carrying our flag. The stadium was packed, and the crowed was cheering. I later learned that there were quiet a few people from the local Jewish community in the stands.
Once all the nations completed their march a Guinness world record was set by having over 1,500 dancer dance to Salsa music in the stadium - It was really a sight to see.
You can see all this and more, here in this video of the Opening Ceremony.

After everything was over, I was invited to Shabat dinner by a locat family. I really enjoyed meeting some of the local community, and it was a pleasure to feel a bit at home even this far away.

Saturday was the first day of races. We had the 300m solo track time trials, and the 10k track points elimination race. The solo skaters were blisteringly fast, with times of under 25 seconds. The 10k races were most exciting. Especially the 10k Junior Females, in wich two Korean skaters made a surprise move at the start - LAPPING THE ENTIRE PACELINE and thus eliminating all but 8 skaters very early in the race!
The lap times for the 10k were very impressive, between 18 and 20 seconds per lap - that means 36-40 kph!

There was a bit of a tragedy at the 300m solos, when Cailin, a New-Zeland skater and former world champion, pulled a muscle at his startoff, and probably will not compete again this world championship.
You can see the complete race results here.

Other than that, I've been meeting some real interesting people, to name a few: Joey Mantia, Nicole Begg, Diedrik of Cado Mutos, Alexander Bont and many many other coaches and skaters that are very accomplished abroad but less known in Israel. It's only been two days since I got here, and it's been damn amazing!

Tomorrow I'll probably get some track time for the first time since I got here, that will still leave me plenty of time to get used to it before my first race on the 22nd. I've also decided to enter into the 200m solo road time trial, and the 500m road race even though I'm not much of a sprinter.

I'll try to upload some pictures soon, though I don't know when I'll get my next chance to write.

Best regards to all my friends that are watching the championships from home - I really appreciate your support!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Go Team Pines!

Team Pines PracticeThe afternoon started early today, as I head out for Brian Piccolo Park.
I made it there just after 5pm, and by the time I got my gear together, it was about 17:30. First I tried the velodrome - the banked track was tough as I was not used to that kind of skating. It really took the wind out of me. My Stomace was also politely but firmly reminding me of the 20 ounce hamburger I had earlier.
On the track, I met Wayne - A very interesting guy from Jamaica, who turned out to have friends in Hertzlia.
I quickly gave up on the Track, and went out to the road course. I skated a few short intervals. There was quiet a headwind, and it was very hot. So by 18:30 or so I was already rather tiered.
At approximatly 19:00, though I had nearly given up on them, the Team Pines gang began showing up. Mostly 10 to 16 year old girls, with better skates than what most Senior skaters have in Israel (Simmons, Hypers, Pinnacles and such).
I met Vanessa, the coach filling in for Juan, and Ayo (I hope I got the name right) - who were very hospitable and welcomed me to their practice.
skatelog forum meetLater I met George of Liberty Sports (inline speed frame manufacturer), along with his wife and son. streetsk8r from the Skatelog forum, and of course, the famous Panch0 - also from the Skatelog.
We had a great training session - Ayo, George and a kid, whos name I belive was Alex, really gave me a run for my money.

Just before I left, I met Zack - a Pakistani Living in the states that will be coming to Cali with me tomorrow to represent his country. We'll even be staying at the same hotel.

I Shot some great pictures, and even tried out my new ATC-2K helmet cam. You can see the resulting Video here. As you can see I still need to work on getting the viewing angle right...

Before he left, Panch0 gave me a small sovenier from our rendevouse, I'll be posting about it when I get home, it's a surprise :)

Finally meeting some speedskaters from abroad was a true delight, especially thoes that I've been talking to for almost a year on the skatelog forum. All in all, I had quiet a great day!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

2007 Inline Speedskating World Championship in Cali

Cali 2007

This years Inline Speedskating World Championship will begin on the 17th of August, at the Colombian city Cali. I have been selected by IRSA (the Israeli Roller Sports Association) to be the first ever Israeli speedskater to participate in the world championships since they begun in 1979.
I was most honored to be selected, and hope to represent my country respectfully.
On the 12th of August, I shall begin my journy to Cali.
During the next month, this website will become somewhat of a "racing blog" where I will try to post my expiriances, thoughts and of course pictures from the trip and competition.
Be sure to check back often after the 12th!