Canada's World Cup Rookie Grey Qualifies for 2006 Olympics Renner Picks Up Pace on World Cup
Kuusamo, FINâ€”Canada’s George Grey earned a ticket to his first Olympic Winter Games on Sunday after posting one of his strongest results ever on the Cross-Country Ski World Cup in Kuusamo, Finland.
The Rossland, B.C. native, finished 41st in the men’s 15 kilometre classic event, crossing the line with a time of 39 minutes 09.3 seconds. The result qualifies Grey to the Olympic Games by finishing in the top-30 based on counting four athletes per nation.
â€œIt definitely feels good to get it done early in the season, but it doesn’t change my goals,â€ said the 25-year-old World Cup rookie, who is one of four Canadian men looking to qualify. â€œI still have a job to do out here and hopefully this will give me an extra push to ski faster and get into the top-25. The summer training is starting to pay off and I’m mentally feeling much stronger to push harder.â€
In addition to Grey qualifying for the Games, two-time Olympian Sara Renner is also continuing to pick up her early season pace on the World Cup. The 28-year-old of Canmore, Alta. posted her best result of the season in Finland on Sunday, finishing 23rd in the women’s 10 kilometre classic event with a time of 29:18.2.
â€œI was extremely fast off the start today and lost some steam in the final two kilometers,â€ said Renner, who is married to alpine skier, Thomas Grandi. â€œI have to figure out my limits, but I really need to start hard to get on pace — now it is a matter of learning to finish at the same speed. I am skiing really well and I know it is so tight that if I consistently place in the top-20, I’ll quickly starting climbing into the top-10.â€
Germany’s Axel Teichmann won his second medal in as many days in the men’s event, capturing the gold (37:33.2). Russia’s Vassili Rotchev solidified the silver medal with a time of 37:58.0, while Teichmann’s teammate, Rene Sommerfeldt rounded out the top-three at 38:00.3.
Estonia’s Kristina Smigun won the women’s event with a time of 27:47.4, while Katerina Neumannova of the Czech Republic was second at 28:00.4, and Norway’s Marit Bjoergen was third at 28:01.8
Source: Cross Country Canada