GeneralNewsTeam 17: Ukraine

Avatar Kieran JonesNovember 2, 2011

Ukraine

2009-2010 Nations Cup Ranking: 17th (394 pts)

2010-2011 Nations Cup Ranking: 17th (443 pts)

Men: 21st (3 pts)

Women: 11th (440 pts)

2011/2012 World Cup Team (Best Estimate)

Men

Roman Leybyuk

Women

Valentina Shevchenko

Lada Nesterenko

Katarina Grygorenko

 

What You May Have Missed Last Season

Valentina Shevchenko just keeps truckin’ along, scoring World Cup points in every distance race she started except one. The 36-year old workhorse did all the heavy lifting for Ukraine, scoring 350 World Cup points. As well, she had three top 20 finishes at World Championships, and

Most impressively, Shevchenko seems to have the Tour-racing concept down. She finished 18th in the Kuusamo, Finland, mini-tour event,  16th in the Tour de Ski (in part due to a huge Final Climb, where she finished 5th), and then finished 15th during the World Cup Final, in Falun, Sweden.

And somehow, she did it all without qualifying in a single sprint – just imagine how deadly she would be with a few fast-twitch fibers!

She also tried her hand at Marathon Cup racing, winning the 42 k freestyle La Sgambeda in Livigno, Italy, last December.

What You Need To Know for This Season

Despite being one year older, and seeing her numbers continuously decline, Shevchenko is back at it again!

While it isn’t apparent from their World Cup results, and a lack of strong Under-23 or World Junior Championship standout performances, the Ukrainian Ski Association website lists 15 members of the National Team, as well as no fewer than six coaches.

Also, when translating the page, a certain skier comes up as ‘Alex Fast’ or ‘Alex Speed’ and he doesn’t have a profile picture, which seems a little suspicious…

Who You Should Watch

Katarina Grygorenko – while she finished the season with just 14 World Cup points, she has shown flashes of top 30 skiing. She also showed impressive resilience in the Tour de Ski last season, sticking out the whole event to finish 29th. But don’t expect World Cup medals right away – she finished dead last in the Final Climb by over a minute, so there is still some room for improvement.

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Kieran Jones

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