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Chris Dornan

(ISN) – FALUN, Swe.—Ivan Babikov led a double dose of young Canucks into the men’s 15-kilometre skate-ski cross-country ski race at the World Championships in Falun, Sweden on Wednesday where he finished 20th.

The three-time Olympic veteran enjoyed a solid day on the challenging Falun track where he clocked a time of 36:47.0. Babikov, of Canmore, Alta., finished a career-best fourth in the same event two years ago in Val di Fiemme, Italy.

“I have mixed feelings today. The first lap started our really slowly, but I was feeling really good on the second lap,” said Babikov. “It was challenging conditions. It was deep slush in some parts but rock solid in others. I just wish I had felt the same on the first lap.”

Graeme Killick, of Fort McMurray, Alta., was also strong in the middle distance race. The 26-year-old finished just outside the top-30 against the 85-man field, placing 32d at 37:28.3. Jesse Cockney, of Canmore, Alta., was 57th (39:16.1).

Sweden’s Johan Olsson set the time to beat at 35:01.6. Maurice Manificat, of France, clocked-in at 35:19.4 to claim the silver medal, while Norway’s Anders Gloeersen rounded out the men’s podium in third with a time of 35:20.8.

The Cross-Country Skiing World Championships continue on Thursday with the women’s relay races. The men’s relay will get underway Friday, followed by the distance races over the weekend.

Fans across Canada will be able to follow the action at the World Championships with both live and video on demand highlights through an innovative new partnership initiated by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association and Cross Country Canada. Every cross country, nordic combined and ski jumping event will be streamed live on www.cccski.com, as well as through the official Falun2015 Live Arena app.

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