After being “screwed by the jury” in Wednesday’s sprint, according to one of her teammates, Canada’s Sara Renner had some unfinished business to take care of.
In the sprint, Renner was impeded when a skier in the track in front of her wouldn’t move—causing her to miss out on the heats in the same event in which she took third just two weeks ago in Canmore.
But today, in the 15k pursuit, she got a little redemption. Using a quick start and a strong classic leg, Renner gutted out a hard-fought 10th place.
Even after edging Germany’s Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle and Russia’ Olga Savialova in a hectic finishing sprint, the Canadian still wasn’t satisfied.
“It wasn’t really a top race, but it sets me up for the rest of the Games,” Renner said.
Sporting a hand-written bib number, she went out quick at the start, staying with the leaders through the first of four 3.75k laps.
“The girls really went from the gun, and I wanted to hang on for as long as possible,” she said.
Renner lost contact with the lead group of seven on the second lap, then settled in with some chasers that included Sachenbacher-Stehle, Saviolova, Italy’s Arianna Follis, and Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla, who fell in the stadium at the start and clearly didn’t have her best stuff.
The finish had Renner contesting a fierce three-up sprint. Leading through the final downhill corner, she had to use every last ounce of energy to hold off Sachenbacher-Stehle and Saviolova, as each tried to slingshot her way around. Renner just had enough power to out-kick them at the line, though, winning a photo-finish with the German.
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Nat Herz is an Alaska-based journalist who moonlights for FasterSkier as an occasional reporter and podcast host. He was FasterSkier's full-time reporter in 2010 and 2011.