Oberstdorf, GER-Canada’s four-man squad finished a disappointing 13th in the men’s relay at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf, Germany on Thursday.
The young Canadian team, which consisted of 22-year-old Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont., 25-year-old George Grey of Rossland, B.C., and 27-year-olds Dan Roycroft of Port Sydney, Ont. and Chris Jeffries of Chelsea, Que., combined to ski the 4 x 10 kilometre track in a time of one hour 45 minutes 03.3 seconds.
The relay consisted of four legs, with each team completing two 10-kilometre stints in classic format and two in the skate skiing style. Athletes handed off to team members after each leg. Devon Kershaw, who has been fast throughout the World Championships, started off the gun for Canada and handed off to the veteran of the Canadian team, George Grey. Dan Roycroft completed the set up leg for anchor Chris Jeffries.
While the Canadians struggled to find their top form, it was Norway who glided to the gold medal position, successfully defending their international title with a time of 1:39:04.4. The Norwegians were never seriously threatened from start-to-finish, and have now won seven out of eight World Championship relay titles dating back to 1991.
While Norway celebrated, World Cup leader, Axel Teichmann, put in a torrid finish-line sprint to steal the silver for the German team (1:39:22.1), narrowly defeating the Russians in a photo finish. The Russians settled for the bronze medal at 1:39:23.1.
Canada will look to rebound at the Nordic World Ski Championships on Friday when Sara Renner, who won the nation’s first ever World Championship bronze medal in the women’s sprint on Tuesday, teams up with Olympic gold medallist, Beckie Scott, in the women’s sprint relay.
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Top-5 Men’s Results (4×10 Kilometre Relay)
1.Norway, 1:39:04.4; 2. Germany, 1:39:22.1; 3. Russia, 1:39:23.1; 4. Italy, 1:39:49.3; 5. Austria, 1:40:40.9.
13. Canada (Devon Kershaw, Sudbury, Ont., George Grey, Rossland, B.C., Dan Roycroft, Port Sydney, Ont., Chris Jeffries, Chelsea, Que.), 1:45:03.3
Source: Cross Country Canada