Canada’s Dahria Beatty Sprints to 16th at Cross-Country Skiing World Cup in Slovenia
PLANICA, Slovenia—Dahria Beatty skied into the points for the second-straight week on the World Cup with a 16th-place result in a skate-ski sprint race in Planica, Slovenia on Saturday.
Locking up her spot in the heats with the top-30 athletes after clocking a 29th-place qualifying time, the Whitehorse-based Olympian improved on a 25th-place sprint finish in her season-opener on the World Cup one week ago.
“I am very happy with today. It is definitely the direction I want to be headed,” said Beatty. “I didn’t have a great start in my heat and found myself at the back of the pack leaving the stadium.”
Following the sluggish start in the quarter-final round, the 25-year-old Beatty kicked it into top gear on the second half of the relatively short 1.3-kilometre sprint course. With only the top-two athletes in each heat, along with the next two fastest times overall (lucky losers) moving onto the next round, Beatty was able to carry good speed out of the downhill start to work her way up the pack on the outside of the course.
“I felt strong climbing today and was able to get myself into third place going into the final climb,” added Beatty. “I had the third fastest lucky loser time of the day, so it was definitely really close to moving into the semis. Both girls in my quarter made the final so, overall, I’m very pleased with how my heat went.”
Two Swedish athletes grabbed the top-two spots on the women’s podium. Jonna Sundling won the gold medal, while Stina Nilsson celebrated the silver. Julia Kern, of the United States, finished with the bronze.
Beatty’s career-best World Cup sprint finish came three years ago on home snow in Canmore when she was 15th. She was also 16th in Dresden, Germany last season. Now a veteran of the Canadian squad, her early season focus has been on consistently qualifying for the heats in an effort to charge further up the results sheet.
“I have been very happy with the consistency so far this year, but I would really like to move my qualifying speed up another level going into the New Year so that I can have a better choice for the heat selections,” said Beatty. “These results have given me lots of fuel to get into the semis, and the final, when I’m back on the World Cup in January.”
Fellow Whitehorse resident, Emily Nishikawa, qualified 44th in the women’s race on Saturday. Russell Kennedy, of Canmore, Alta., placed 55th in the men’s sprint race.
Beatty and Nishikawa will hit the start line for the final time before the holiday break on Sunday when they compete in the team sprint race.
Complete World Cup Sprint Results: https://www.fis-ski.com/DB/general/event-details.html?sectorcode=CC&eventid=45166&seasoncode=2020
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