Devon Kershaw Leads Frustrated Canadians at Cross-Country Skiing World Cup Marathon in Norway

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March 16, 2013, Oslo, Norway (ISN) – Devon Kershaw felt much better than the disappointing 29th place result he posted in a 50-kilometre cross-country skate-skiing at the famous World Cup stop in Oslo, Norway on Saturday.

Feeling healthy, fit and ready to make a charge for the podium as the world’s best ventured out on the epic cross-country ski marathon down the Nordic highways at the birthplace of the sport, the 30-year-old Kershaw was one of six Canadians who simply didn’t have the skis to respond to the pace. The two-time Olympian was the top Canuck in 29th with a time of 2:13:16.6.

“It was a rough day unfortunately,” said Justin Wadsworth, head coach, Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team. “We had some problems with our skis and they were a bit on the slow side today.”

Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose in the game of ski selection and preparation. Even with one of the best wax teams in the world behind them, on this day the Canadians unfortunately found themselves on the short end of the stick.

“Everyone was really focused and ready to go to so there was no issue in being mentally and physically ready,” said Wadsworth. “Sometimes it is frustrating when the bodies feel good, but you just don’t get the result.”

Ivan Babikov, of Canmore, Alta., finished just outside the top 30. The Bulldog finished in 33rd spot at 2:14:26.3. Graeme Killick, of Fort McMurray, Alta., was 55th at 2:23:23.0, while Michael Somppi, of Thunder Bay, Ont., placed 57th at 2:24:19.0.

Jesse Cockney, of Canmore, Alta., and Alex Harvey, of St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., did not finish.

Russian athletes grabbed the gold and bronze medals. Alexander Legkov skied to the top spot on the podium with a time of 2:07:32.9. IIia Chernousov clocked-in at 2:07:34.8 for third. Sandwiched between the Russians in second place was Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby who posted a time of 2:07:34.1.

Thousands of Nordic faithful will carry on the tradition of heading back into the woods at the Holmenkollen to camp out alongside the ski trails again tonight before the women’s 30-kilometre skate-ski race tomorrow. Perianne Jones, of Almonte, Ont., will be the lone Canadian in the field racing for bonus points to boost her into the top-50, and earn a spot in the World Cup finals that begins next week in Sweden.

Cross Country Canada is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 55,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities, including those on Canada’s National Ski Teams and Para-Nordic Ski Teams. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities, AltaGas, Statoil and Canadian Pacific – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium and B2ten, Cross Country Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on Cross Country Canada, please visit us at www.cccski.com.

Complete Results: http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/610.html?sector=CC&raceid=20725

Top-5 Men and Canadian Results:

1. Alexander Legkov, RUS, 2:07:32.9; 2. Martin Johnsrud Sundby, NOR, 2:07:34.1; 3. IIia Chernousov, RUS, 2:07:34.8; 4. Petter Eliassen, NOR, 2:07:35.4; 5. Roland Clara, ITA, 2:07:35.7

Canadian Results:

29. Devon Kershaw, Sudbury, Ont., 2:13:16.6; 33. Ivan Babikov, Canmore, Alta., 2:14:26.3; 55. Graeme Killick, Fort McMurray, Alta., 2:23:23.0; 57. Michael Somppi, Thunder Bay, Ont., 2:24:19.0; DNF. Alex Harvey, St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que.; DNF. Jesse Cockney, Canmore, Alta.

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