MOSCOW, February 12 (R-Sport) - Russia’s top ski jumpers will be replaced by unproven youngsters at their home Olympics if they fail to impress at the world championships later this month, the head of the sport’s national federation said Tuesday.
The Russians are unlikely medal contenders on the ski jump in their first home Winter Olympics, with no jumpers in the World Cup top ten and no leading Nordic combined athletes.
The lack of success means Russia has nothing to lose at Sochi 2014, Russian Ski Jump and Nordic Combined Federation president Alexander Uvarov said.
“If our team doesn’t demonstrate Olympic promise and indicators, then why go to the Olympics?” he said at a media conference at RIA Novosti.
“What difference does it make who’s at the bottom? In that case, it’s better to send juniors to get experience for future competitions. That’s our shared position, and all the athletes know about it.”
The Nordic world ski championships, covering cross-country, ski jump and Nordic combined, will be held in Val di Fiemme, Italy, from February 20 to March 3.
Russia won bronze in Nordic combined with Valery Stolyarov in 2002 and has yet to win a medal in Olympic ski jumping, although Vladimir Belousov won gold for the Soviet Union in the large hill competition in 1968.
The Sochi Winter Olympics will be held from February 7 to 23 next year at the RusSki Gorki center.
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