Canadians Stewart-Jones and Browne Steady in Top-30 at World Championship Marathon
OBERSTDORF, Ger.—Canada’s Katherine Stewart-Jones and Cendrine Browne grinded out another top-30 performance each in the women’s 30-kilometre classic-ski race at the World Nordic Ski Championships on Saturday.
Stewart-Jones (Chelsea, Que.) battled into 23rd place, while Browne (Saint-Jérôme, Que.) was 27th. Both athletes finished in the top-30 in each of their individual start distance races at the World Championships.
“It was a good day. Katherine went for it from the start but was really tired and did not have it in her today. She showed her mental strength by hanging in there,” said Erik Braten, head coach, Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team. “Cendrine is showing she can also be strong in classic. A top 30 in classic in conditions like this is impressive. Dahria also had a very smart race, pacing herself and holding steady speed all the way through.”
The 25-year-old Stewart-Jones was chasing down a record day, skiing in a large group of athletes from seventh to 18th position for the first three of five laps while slogging through the mild conditions. Continuing the fight to the finish line, Stewart-Jones dropped a few spots when the standings were final, clocking a time of 1:31:02.0.
“I’m happy with my race. I went for it from the start, hoping I had a top-15 in me, but I wasn’t able to hold on,” said Stewart-Jones. “I’m proud of myself for being gutsy even if I didn’t quite get the result I was looking for. I’m happy with my improvement this year, and knowing that I’m able to make that kind of jump gives me confidence going into the Olympic year.”
Stewart-Jones’ teammate, Cendrine Browne rattled off her third top-30 finish at this year’s premiere stop on the Nordic calendar. The 27-year-old was steady from start to finish to post her first ever top-30 result in the classic format, skiing into 27th spot with a time of 1:32:53.9.
“I’m so happy (with this result),” said Browne. “I had no expectations for today because I didn’t know how my body would react after so many hard races, but I still had some energy afterall. It was a good hard fight. It’s by far my best World Championships, having top-30 results in every distance race.”
Dahria Beatty, Whitehorse, finished four spots outside the elite group of 30. The 2018 Olympian stopped the clock at 1:34:57.3.
Norway’s Therese Johaug proved she is the queen of cross-country skiing with a convincing victory on Saturday. Johaug dusted the field with a time of 1:24:56.3. Heidi Weng, of Norway, was the next best finisher two minutes, 34.2 seconds off the leading pace with a time of 1:27:30.5, topping Sweden’s Frida Karlsson who settled for the bronze medal at 1:27:31.1.
The World Nordic Ski Championships continue on Sunday in Oberstdorf with the men’s 50-kilometre mass start race.
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