Farrow on the hunt for Korean bling
18 October 2016
SKELETON: No athlete has set foot or sled on the PyeongChang 2018 skeleton track yet but John Farrow has a feeling it’s the course for him.
“Korea is a newly constructed track which levels the playing field for me, it has some technical looking corners which should really suit my style,” said the 34-year-old who’s looking to don the green and gold suit at his second Olympic Games after competing in Sochi.
“It has quite a lot of corners and the more corners you have on a track, the more you are weaving in and out of places, which usually means it’s more technical.”
The professional mountain bike rider turned Winter Olympian is determined to return to Olympic competition in just over 12 months’ time and is looking forward to getting a taste of what he hopes will be a challenging 2018 track.
“I hope we get a technical and dangerous course with corners that might scare people.
“My experience and ability to handle that and work under pressure should benefit me,” said Farrow who knew he wanted to compete in Skeleton as he sat, injured watching the Vancouver 2010 track being built.
“I was injured from mountain biking at the time and I just made a decision watching all of the hype about the Vancouver Olympics.
“I thought to myself that while the tools are different between a bike and a racing sled, the racing is exactly the same.”
Less than two years later, Farrow qualified for the 2010 Games but his dream was taken away when the men’s field was cut from 30 competitors to 28.
“It was extremely hard but I think it actually inspired me a bit more to work harder for the next four years.”
“Then after Vancouver, I dislocated my knee and paralysed my foot.
“It became more about coming back into the sport, than actually then what I could achieve.
“Being able to overcome that injury and get back onto the Olympic Team and make my debut was an amazing feeling.”
That feeling was then surpassed as Farrow recorded Australia’s best skeleton result in history at the Sochi Games.
Immediately afterwards he told media that he was “definitely” aiming for a medal in Korea.
“I think a medal is what we all aim for,” said Farrow, laughing on reflection on that 2014 moment.
“Four years out it’s easy to throw around that a medal is what you’re aiming for.”
“Realistically I need to be in the top 10 this year for that to happen.”
But Farrow is determined to improve on his 17th performance, saying he’s aiming for a top 10 Olympic finish.
“It’s time to be better than 17th and my goal this year is to crack into that top 10.”
Farrow, who is currently ranked 29th on the International Bobsleigh & Skeleton Federation rankings has also been pushing his other Aussie competitors to try and qualify a second quota place for Australia.
“There’s been a lot of younger kids that have come into the sport that I’ve been able to mentor.
“They really push me and keep me on my toes.”
Brothers, Dean and Nicholas Timmings are ranked 59th and 61st respectively, with the top 30 athletes in January 2018 being selected for the Olympic Games.
“After going it alone, being able to go as a team will definitely increase our ability to perform,” said Farrow who secured his highest ever World ranking in January this year, after finishing 15th in a World Cup event in Whistler, Canada.
“It’s a good sign and helps shape the path to a medal.
“You have to be in that top 10 to put yourself in a position to come home with a medal.”
Farrow says he’s now had enough experience to be able to stay calm and relaxed from the start of the 2018 Games, all the way through to his event.
An attitude he says will be a huge strength heading into the Olympics.
“I can use all of my experience to focus on what I need to do and get the job done.”
To prepare himself for the Games, Farrow has moved to Park City Utah, so he can give 100% focus and create the best training environment for himself.
He will head overseas in November to compete on the international circuit.