Oberstdorf, GER-Beckie Scott led the Canadian charge finishing 16th in the women’s 30-kilometre classic cross-country skiing event at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany on Saturday.
The Olympic gold medallist from Vermilion, Alta. completed the unrelenting five-kilometre loop loaded with long, steep uphill climbs six times in a time of one hour 29 minutes 24.1 seconds.
“It was definitely a tough day, but it was a medium performance considering this isn’t my favourite event,” said Scott, who will now shift her focus to the final World Cup stops of the season. “I was able to ski with the leaders in a pack of 10 for most of the race, but I gradually fell back. I would have been happier with some better results at World Championships, but there is still time to turn things around.”
The highlight of Scott's World Championship week was a fourth-place finish in the women's pursuit.
Meanwhile, it was the legendary Marit Bjoergen of Norway who won her fifth medal of the World Championships after taking gold in the 30 kilometre mass start with a time of 1:27:05.8 under brilliant sunny skies and cool temperatures. The 24-year-old narrowed out Finland’s Virpi Kuitunen, who settled for the silver medal (1:27:14.7), while Russia’s Natalia Baranova-Masolkina finished 10.3 seconds off the pace in third (1:27:16.1).
Three other Canadian women joined Beckie Scott on the start line Saturday; however, two-time Olymipan Milaine Theriault of St. Quentin, N.B., was the only other Canuck to finish the race after crossing the line in 38th spot with a time of 1:35:14.9. World Cup rookies, Chandra Crawford of Canmore, Alta. and Tara Whitten of Edmonton were removed from the race after getting lapped.
The Canadian men's squad will look to continue their successful run in Germany on Sunday when they compete in a 50 kilometre mass start to wrap up the 2005 Nordic World Ski Championships.
Cross Country Canada is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada. Its 45,000 members are athletes, coaches and officials, including members of the Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team and Canadian Disabled Cross-Country Ski Team. Cross-country skiing is Canada’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually.
Top-Five Women’s Results (30 Kilometre Classic):
1. Marit Bjoergen, NOR, 1:27:05.8; 2. Virpi Kuitunen, FIN, 1:27:14.7; 3. Natalia Baranova-Masolkina, RUS, 1:27:16.1; 4. Justyna Kowalczyk, POL, 1:27:18.6; 5. Aino Kaise Saarinen, FIN, 1:27:21.7.
Canadian Results (30 Kilometre Classic):
16. Beckie Scott, Vermilion, Alta., 1:29:24.1; 38. Milaine Theriault, St. Quentin, N.B., 1:35:14.9; DNF. Tara Whitten, Edmonton; DNF. Chandra Crawford, Canmore, Alta.
Source: Cross Country Canada