• Alex 50km Lahti Champion
    • CCC RACE Report: Canada 8th (men), 13th (women) in Pyeongchang Team Sprint

      February 21, 2018

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      It was another pleasant night, just below zero deg. C. in Pyeongchang as the Team sprint semifinals got underway.

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      Canada was represented by Emily Nishikawa and Dahria Beatty in the women's semi, also known as the Whitehorse Ski Club relay team.

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      Dahria getting ready for the Women's semi.

      Canada had a good start to their semi and were 4th after their first 2 laps, 7th after 4. Unfortunately they couldn't hold the pace on the final laps, finishing 7th in their heat Semi Results  and eventually 13th overall.
      Final Results

      The U.S. team of Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins claimed the first women's Olympic medal for their nation, gold, with a thrilling race and a last second lunge at the line by Diggins. Diggais had set the team up for a medal on her 2nd last lap, dropping the Swiss on the biggest climb, and making it a "3 horse race" on the 5th lap between the U.S., Norway and Sweden.

      Kikkan stuck with Bjoergen and Kalla on the 2nd last lap, leaving it to Diggins to go toe-to-toe with Falla and the Olympic sprint champ Nilsson, on the last lap. Diggins skied at the front for much of the leg, before getting passed just before the stadium.  The 2 Scandinavians stumbled slightly on the last hill giving Diggins a chance to sneak back in between them and out lunge Nilsson at the line.

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      Dahria at the finish

      For the men's semifinal, Lenny Valjas led off for Canada, matched up with Alex Harvey on the anchor leg. Lenny kept the team close to the top group on each lap and Alex managed bring them through in 5th at the line, just behind Italy and in front of Switzerland.

      Canada's time was good enough for 9th, qualifying for the finals.
      Semifinal Results

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      For Canada, the final went in a similar fashion to the women's semi. They were close to the top, in the first 1/2 of the race, but they couldn't maintain the pace, finishing 8th at the line, just ahead of Finland.
      Up front Norway cruised to a relatively easy win.
      Results

      Lenny Interview

      Emily Interview

      Dahria Interview

      While the men's team were hoping for a medal, it was not quite there for the taking. The result was an improvement on the 13th and 12th of  the 2015 Worlds and the Sochi Games. It was 2 places back from where Alex and Lenny finished last year at the Lahti Worlds. As Alex said, 8th, top 10 in a field of 29 countries, is representing your country well.

      On the women's side Dahria and Emily were ranked 13th in the end, despite beating 12th place Australia (6th in their heat) by 9 seconds. A 12th place finish would be Canada's best result in a Major Games since 7th in 2010, but 13th ends up being the same rank as 2013, 2014 and 2017.

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      Up next, Friday at midnight on Sportsnet and live streamed, the men's 50k classic. Get your viewing sleepover parties ready, for the last chance for  Canadian men's medal!

      Follow the race circuits and National Ski Teams on the CCC website, TwitterFacebookInstagram.

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