Canadian cross-country skiers remain focused on ultimate goal

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Cross Country skiing Canada

December 15, 2013, DAVOS, Sui. (ISN) – Struggling to find their top early-season form with no athletes qualifying for the top-30 heats of a skate sprint race on Sunday in Davos, Switzerland, Canada’s cross-country ski squad will not lose sight of the ultimate goal in February.

Daria Gaiazova, of Banff, Alta., was the top woman in 42nd. Chandra Crawford, of Canmore, Alta., placed 43rd. Alex Harvey, of St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., was the top male in 45th. Toronto’s Len Valjas placed 61st, while Devon Kershaw, of Sudbury, Ont., was 69th and Jesse Cockney, of Canmore, Alta., finished 82nd.

“We were bad today. There is no excuses and no two ways about it, but it was not for lack of trying and the team skiing their butts off,” said Eric de Nys, coach, Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team. “While it doesn’t show in the results, we do feel it is getting better and it is going to take time. It just doesn’t happen overnight.”

With loads of expectations for the nation’s most talented Nordic squad heading into an Olympics, the team will not panic in its final preparations for Sochi.

“We need to keep in mind what the ultimate goal is and keep building towards it,” said de Nys.”If we can pull a couple of medals out of Sochi in February, nobody will remember the weekend in Davos so we need to be patient and it will come.”

Norway’s Marit Bjoergen won the women’s race. American Kikkan Randall was second while Germany’s Denise Hermann sprinted into third spot.

Norway’s Anders Gloeersen won the men’s race. Finland’s Martti Jylhae celebrated the silver medal and Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov won the bronze.

Canada’s cross-country skiers will now head to Italy for the final World Cup before the holiday break.

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 58,000 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 Inc., AltaGas,. Canadian Pacific and Statoil – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and Own the Podium, 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: www.fis-ski.com 

Top-5 Women and Canadian Results:

1. Marit Bjoergen, NOR; 2. Kikkan Randall, USA; 3. Denise Hermann, GER; 4. Hanna Erikson, SWE; 5. Vesna Fabjan, SLO

Canadian Results:

42. Daria Gaiazova, Banff, Alta.; 43. Chandra Crawford, Canmore, Alta.

Top-5 Men and Canadian Results:

1. Anders Gloeersen, NOR; 2. Martti Jylhae, FIN; 3. Sergey Ustiugov, RUS; 4. Alexey Petukhov, RUS; 5. Finn Haagen Krogh, NOR

Canadian Results:

45. Alex Harvey, of St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que.; 61. Len Valjas, Toronto; 69. Devon Kershaw, Sudbury, Ont.; 82. Jesse Cockney, Canmore, Alta.

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