Sapporo, Japan â€” Canada’s Beckie Scott finished the 2005-06 World Cup season the way she began it last November in Canada — stepping onto the podium in a World Cup pursuit race. Only this time it was gold in Sapporo, Japan on Sunday.
Canada’s most decorated cross-country skier capped off a stellar campaign with her fourth gold medal of the season after crossing the line in the women’s pursuit race with a time of 45 minutes 35.0 seconds.
''I'm ready for some sushi and then a party,'' Scott said. ''This is the way I wanted to finish. It was important for me to finish on top.'' The mass start pursuit race combines 7.5 kilometres of classic skiing with an additional 7.5 kilometers of skate skiing. Athletes enter a transition zone in between the two legs to exchange skis.
Joining Scott on the podium was Norway’s Kristin Steira Stoermer in second spot at 45:36.8, while Germany’s Evi Sachenbacher Stehle was third at 46:04.9. The victory marks not only the fourth World Cup gold medal of the season for the Vermilion, Alta. native, but also in her 11-year career. It is also the 10th time the Olympic gold and silver medalist stepped onto the World Cup podium this season.
Scott also barely missed out on winning the overall World Cup title in the final event of the season. Norway's Marit Bjoergen finished fourth to hold on to the title. Only 66 points separated Scott and Bjoergen heading into Sunday's race and Scott needed to win the pursuit and for Bjoergen to finish no higher than eighth. Defending champion Bjoergen finished the season with 1,036 points. Scott was second with 1,020 points.
Top-5 Women and Canadian Results:
1. Beckie Scott, Vermilion, Alta., CAN, 45:35.0; 2. Kristin Steira Stoermer, NOR, 45:36.8; 3. Evi Sachenbacher Stehle, GER, 46:04.9; 4. Marit Bjoergen, NOR, 46:17.3; 5. Katerina Neumannova, CZE, 46:21.2Other Canadian Results:
14. Sara Renner, Canmore, Alta., 47:24.7; 41. Chandra Crawford, Canmore, Alta., 54:21.2.
Top-5 Men and Canadian Results:
1. Matthias Fredriksson, SWE, 1:16:45.4; 2. Petter Northug, NOR, 1:16:49.2; 3. Anders Soedergren, SWE, 1:16:49.5; 4. Andrus Veerpalu, EST, 1:16:57.2; 5. Frode Estil, NOR, 1:17:30.0.
36. Devon Kershaw, Sudbury, Ont., 1:22:08.5; 39. George Grey, Rossland, B.C., 1:22:38.7
Source: Cross Country Canada