Canada’s Para-Nordic Squad Settles for Fifth in Norway
LILLEHAMMER, Nor.–Canada’s mixed relay team finished shy of the podium in fifth place at the IPC Para-Nordic World Cup in Lillehammer, Norway on Sunday.
Paralympic teammates, Collin Cameron (Sudbury, Ont.), Natalie Wilkie (Salmon Arm, B.C.), Mark Arendz (Springton, P.E.I.) and Brittany Hudak (Prince Albert, Sask.) combined to post a time of 30:17.1 in the 4×2.5-kilometre relay at the Birkebeineren Ski Stadium.
“Overall, I think the team was pretty happy with the performance today,” said Hudak, who was competing in her first relay event in nearly two years. “I just felt more nervous than I usually would in my individual races! I was hoping to have a bit higher tempo on some of the climbs but sometimes the body doesn’t follow what the brain says! Our team has such a positive, fun dynamic that regardless of the result, everyone supports each other.”
Sit-skier, Collin Cameron, led the Canadian quartet, skiing the fourth fastest opening leg. After tagging off to the 18-year-old, Wilkie, it was eight-time Paralympic medallist Mark Arendz, who brought the Canadians back into podium contention with a lightening quick 2.6-kilometre loop. Hudak took on the the anchor leg for Canucks, finishing in fifth spot.
“It’s still early in the season and our team knows we usually get faster towards the end of the year, so it was good to put a team together and see where we’re at in December,” added Hudak. “Relays are always exciting because there is that element of suspense after each exchange. These races bring such a supportive vibe. The entire team of athletes and staff are working well together which makes it that much more fun!”
Two Russian teams finished on the top-two steps of the podium. Russia 1 claimed the gold at 29:19.6. Russia 2 locked up the silver at 29:57.7. A team from the Ukraine finished with the bronze and a time of 30:06.7.
The IPC Para-Nordic World Cup continues on Monday in Lillehammer with the cross-country ski sprint races.
Complete Para-Nordic Results: https://www.paralympic.org/nordic-skiing/live-results/info-live-results/NS1N19/eng/zz/engzz_general-general-schedule.htm
Emily Nishikawa and Dahria Beatty Finish Outside Top-30 in Davos
Meanwhile at the World Cup in Davos, Switzlerand, the Canadian women from Whitehorse were stacked on top of each other just outside the top-30.
Emily Nishikawa skied to 35th place in her World Cup opener with a time of 27:17.9 in the 10-kilometre individual start skate-ski race. Nishikawa’s Olympic teammate, Dahria Beatty, was 36th at 27:19.2.
Norway’s Therese Johaug won the race with a time of 25:02.7.
After guiding Brian McKeever to a gold medal at the IPC World Cup in Norway on Friday, Russell Kennedy of Canmore, Alta., darted over to the World Cup start line in Davos for the men’s 15-kilometre individual start race. The 2018 Olympian and Paralympian completed the three loops in a time of 36:17.3 for 47th place.
Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger set the time to beat in the men’s race at 33:59.3.
Complete World Cup Results: https://www.fis-ski.com/crosscountry
Nordiq Canada is the governing body of para-nordic and cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 60,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas, Swix and Lanctôt Sports– along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium and B2Ten, Nordiq Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on Nordiq Canada, please visit us at www.nordiqcanada.ca.