Déjà vu for Kane in exclusive Olympic bid

13 October 2013 / 14:16

Kevin Kane’s bid to finally earn Olympic exclusivity brings with it a sense of déjà vu – and he’s adamant it will be a case of the early bird catching the worm.

Kane finds himself in the midst of a three-way battle to earn the sole men’s biathlon place for Britain at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi.

He is up against Lee Jackson and Marcel Laponder with the latter currently behind in the running ahead of the World Cup opener in Sweden at the end of November.

The scenario is only too familiar for Kane as, rewind four years, and he found himself battling Jackson for the sole place at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

Jackson triumphed and jetted off to Canada but there are as many as six World Cups for all three to lay claim on for the right to travel to Russia in February.

And Kane admits impressing in all of the first three in Sweden, Austria and France before the turn of the year, and not just one, could be decisive.

“At the moment we have got two guys qualified and one half qualified. So it is literally first past the post in the first few World Cups,” said Kane.

“I was in exactly the same situation four years ago and Lee went and I didn’t. I remember going into the season knowing how close it had been the previous year.

“Going into the Olympic season, I knew where I was and I knew where I had to be and actually in the first World Cup I was doing slightly better and it gave me a real boost.

“But unfortunately in the subsequent few I wasn’t quite as good and if somebody is better than you they get to go.

“Whoever is consistently the best at the start of the season will get his place, which is exactly the same as it was four years ago.

“The Olympics is something I have been working towards for the last eight years because as far as biathlon is concerned it is the pinnacle.

“It only comes around once every four years. At World Championships we have always got four places and for the Olympics we have only got one, which makes it even more exclusive.”

Kane has little idea of how both Jackson and Laponder are shaping up ahead of the opening World Cup of the season in Ostersund from November 22 to December 1.

But, rather than worry about the unknown of his British rivals, Kane is using the situation to ensure his focus doesn’t waiver between now and the end of next month.

“Because we are all training independently, not as a team, nobody really knows what the other person is doing,” he added.

“So there is a little bit of a dark area there where nobody is quite sure where everyone else is in terms of training.

“Until our selection races start and we start the first couple of World Cups we aren’t going to know each other’s shape. But that is good, it keeps you focussed.”

© Sportsbeat 2013