-European family and friends cheer Canadian on to seventh in Swiss streets-
Bern, Switzerland-Canada’s Sara Renner sprinted to a seventh-place result through the narrow streets of Bern, Switzerland in a cross-country skiing World Cup event on Saturday.
The 28-year-old Canmore, Alta. native, whose father is originally from Switzerland, chased her best ever World Cup result in downtown Bern, lined with thousands of party-goers, including dozens of European family members cheering her on.
Event organizers hauled in loads of snow to create the cross-country sprint course through the streets of Bern.
“This event is so amazing, it is like racing around Parliament Hill,” said Renner, who qualified ninth with a time of one minute 39.35 seconds to move into the round of 16 for the head-to-head sprint finals. “It is so festive here, and you build off the energy created from all the people lining the city streets. It is a totally different vibe than cross-country skiing in the woods, and it was great to have my substantial cheering section.”
The finals consist of four heats of four athletes, with the top-two athletes in each heat moving onto the next round. Renner advanced past the first round, finishing second behind eventual gold medallist, Marit Bjoergen of Norway. The two-time Olympian for Canada stumbled off the start in the semi-final heat, but rebounded to have a strong race in the B final giving her seventh position.
“I was really just focused in qualifying for the round of 16 this morning,” said Renner. “Once you get into the heats it is so important to get a good start position. I was able to do that for two of the three heats, but my little error in the semi-final cost me. This is a great day though.”
While Norway’s Bjoergen captured the gold, her teammate, Ella Gjoemle, captured the bronze medal. Sandwiched between the Norwegians on the podium was Germany’s Claudia Kuenzel who grabbed the silver.
Source: Chris Dornan, Cross Country Canada