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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...


  1. Congratulation! You have raced on the worlds serious! and didn't even come last!
    We are behind you :)

  2. Only 21 y/o and already 45th place in the world.
    I see great future for you kid.
    Go Get Them!!!

  3. The adrenaline and excitement must have messed with my count, I'm #56, not 45 as I posted earlier, corrections have been made.

  4. No worries Boaz.... in my heart you are #2.... everyone else is tied for first!! Just kidding! Just kidding! :)

  5. Great job Boaz, I see you took my advise and raced track as well, the best experience is to compete, and let yourself become better everyday! Keep up the good work!

  6. It's your first Race and as you said you were not ready for that.
    I saw the vodeo and I am sure that in Israel you didn't have the right conditions like in that race.
    I don't think that you can find a mass of about 50 skaters skating together like in the race in Israel.
    because of that 45th place is pretty good.