Source: Cross Country Canada (cccski.com)
-Canadian nordic skiers rise to occasion in front of hometown crowd-
Canmore, Alta.-Canada’s cross-country ski queens, Beckie Scott and Sara Renner, teamed up to win their first ever silver medal in the team sprint relay on Sunday at the Alberta Centennial World Cup in Canmore, Alta.
“This has been a dream week and I am so happy we were able to rise to the occasion at home,” said Scott, who quickly moved into third place on the overall World Cup rankings for the first time in her career yesterday. “I think the team sprint is the most intense race on the World Cup, and it was difficult out there today.”
With Scott being the frontrunner, and Renner anchoring, the Canadian duo blazed through to the 10-nation final after winning their qualification heat. The twosome played cat-and-mouse with the German team throughout the final round, which sees each athlete racing around the 1.1-kilometre track three times each. Athletes tag their partner after each lap.
Scott gave Renner a slight lead at the exchange into the final lap, but the powerful German team, anchored by Viola Bauer, overcame the Canadian in the sprint to the wire in front of thousands of screaming fans. The Canadian team crossed the line with a time of 18 minutes 39.6 seconds.
“I wasn’t thinking anything.
The silver medal victory for Scott and Renner on Sunday caps off a remarkable nine-day World Cup stint for the Canadian women, which saw them lag more than 100 kilometres of competitive racing between the two of them at the first World Cup cross-country skiing events on home snow in Vernon, B.C. and Canmore, Alta.
During the five events, Beckie Scott, of Vermilion, Alta., doubled her World Cup career medal total from five-to-10 after stepping onto the podium in each of the disciplines in Canada, while Sara Renner, of Canmore, Alta., won the first two World Cup medals of her career.
The German team of Manuela Henkel and Viola Bauer finished on top at 18:38.6, while the Swedish team of Lina Andersson and Anna Dahlberg captured the bronze medal with a time of 18:45.4.
Two other Canadian women thrilled the hometown crowd of 4,000 people who lined the stadium for the team sprint. World Cup rookie, Chandra Crawford, of Canmore, Alta., and two-time Olympian, Milaine Theriault, of St. Quentin, N.B., teamed up to finish ninth (19:33.9).
Canada also suited up three teams in the men’s division. While none of the Canucks moved into the final from the heats, Drew Goldsack of Red Deer, Alta., and George Grey, of Rossland, B.C. finished 12th (16:55.8), and 22-year-olds Phil Widmer, of Banff, Alta., and Sean Crooks, of Thunder Bay, Ont., teamed up to finish 13th (16:56.5).
Norway’s Jens Arne Svartedal and Eldar Roenning won the men’s team sprint with a time of 16:22.4, while the Sweden I team of Bjoern Lind and Thobias Frekriksson finished second (16:22.5) ahead of their teammates Mats Larsson and Mikael Oestberg, who settled for third after crossing the line at 16:28.1.
Other highlights of the Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team over the last two weeks included:
Â· Phil Widmer, of Banff, Alta., qualified fourth in the individual sprint in his first World Cup event;
Â· George Grey finished 16th in the men’s 15-kilometre individual start, making it the best performance for a Canadian-born male in the last decade;
Â· Ivan Babikov, who joined the Canadian program from Russia this year, finished fourth in the men’s 15-kilometre individual start, 16th in the men’s 30-kilometre pursuit, and 18th in the men’s 30-kilometre mass start;
Â· Beckie Scott skiing to the podium in five straight races, claiming two gold and three silver medals;
Â· Sara Renner winning bronze in the sprint and silver in the team sprint;
Â· Chandra Crawford finishing 10th in the sprint, ninth in the team sprint and 31st in the
15-kilometre mass start;
Â· More than 20,000 people witnessed World Cup cross-country skiing events in both Canmore and Vernon – including nearly 1,000 volunteers.
The Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team will hold a training camp in British Columbia this week before the holiday break. The team will regroup in January before heading off to Europe for three World Cup stops before the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.
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.
Complete Results: www.fis-ski.com
Top-5 Women Results:
1.GER (Manuela Henkel, Viola Bauer), 18:38.6; 2. CAN (Beckie Scott, Sara Renner), 18:39.6;
3. SWE I (Lina Andersson, Anna Dahlberg), 18:45.4); 4. RUS (Olga Rocheva, Olga Rotcheva), 18:47.3); 5. SWE II (Elin Ek, Emelie Oehrstig), 18:59.8).
9. CAN II (Chandra Crawford, Milaine Theriault), 19:33.9; 12. CAN III (Tara Whitten, Dasha Gaiazova), 20:08.5; 17. CAN IV (Perianne Jones, Amanda Ammar), 20:40.3.
Top-5 Men Results:
1.NOR I (Jens Arne Svartedal, Eldar Roenning), 16:22.4; 2. SWE I (Bjoern Lind, Thobias Fredriksson), 16:22.5; 3. SWE II (Mats Larsson, Mikael Oestberg), 16:28.1; 4. RUS (Dmitriy Egoshin, Ivan Alypov), 16:29.1; 5. POL (Maciej Kreczmer, Janusz Krezelok), 16:32.4.
12. CAN I (Drew Goldsack, George Grey), 16:55.8; 13. CAN II (Phil Widmer, Sean Crooks), 16:56.5; 17. CAN III (Dan Roycroft, Chris Jeffries), 17:41.2.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Media and Public Relations
Cross Country Canada
CODA's Vision: Creating Canadian Olympic Winter Sport Excellence