Canadian Men Finish 12th in Team Relay at Nordic World Ski Championships
Canadians focused on podium heading into distance races
OSLO, Nor.—A new-look Canadian squad suited up to finish 12th in the men’s 4x10-kilometre relay on Friday at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo, Norway.
The team, which consisted of Stefan Kuhn, of Canmore, Alta.; Toronto’s Len Valjas; Ivan Babikov, of Canmore, Alta.; and George Grey, of Rossland, B.C., combined to post a time of one hour, 45 minutes, 12.1 seconds.
“The guys skied pretty well today and it was a great experience for them,” said Justin Wadsworth, head coach, Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team. “Ivan had the sixth-fastest time in his leg, and in a lot of respects, they all felt good about their race. Our focus now is on challenging for the podium in the 50-kilometre (Sunday).”
Canada’s newly-crowned World Champions both sat out the relay. Devon Kershaw, of Sudbury, Ont., was forced to the sidelines with a sore throat, while Alex Harvey, St-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Que., took the extra day of rest to focus on recharging his energy level for the 50-kilometre skate-ski race on Sunday that will wrap up the week-long event.
“Heading into the World Championships I knew I would not be doing the relay today,” said Harvey, who is a legitimate medal contender on Sunday. “Obviously I would love to do every race, but there are too many events close together. Our team’s goal is to win medals, and I believe my best shot is in the 50-k so I knew this was the right plan. I’m looking forward to giving it my best on Sunday.”
The Norwegian team won the gold medal with a time of 1:40:10.2. Sweden captured the silver at 1:40:11.5, while Germany locked up the bronze with a time of 1:40:15.9.
The Nordic World Ski Championships continue on Saturday with the women’s 30-kilometre skate-ski race.
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 51,000 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, Teck Resources Ltd. 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 World Cup Results: www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?cal_suchsector=CC&event_id=28397
Top-5 Men’s and Canadian Results:
1.Norway, 1:40:10.2; 2. Sweden, 1:40:11.5; 3. Germany, 1:40:15.9; 4. Finland, 1:40:25.2; 5. Italy, 1:40:41.5.
12. Stefan Kuhn, Canmore, Alta./Len Valjas, Toronto/Ivan Babikov, Canmore, Alta./George Grey, Rossland, B.C., 1:45:12.1
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Name: Chris Dornan
Organization: Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton
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