Media Release

Katherine Stewart-Jones Charges into Top-20 in Cross-Country Skiing World Cup Opener

November 27, 2022

RUKA, Fin.—Katherine Stewart-Jones took advantage of good vibes racing in Ruka, Finland, steadily skiing her way into the top-20 in the pursuit race to cap off the opening weekend on the World Cup cross-country ski season.

Starting time behind the leaders based on results of the opening two races, the Chelsea, Que. athlete skied into the spotlight for the Canucks on a dark and frosty day in Finland while snagging the final spot in the top-20 of the 20-kilometre race. The 2022 Olympian stopped the clock at 52:42.5.

“Ruka is one of my favourite venues,” said the 27-year-old. “My plan today was to stick with the group I started in because I knew there were some really strong skate-skiers that I could hold onto.”

Sweden’s Frida Karlsson pulled away from the field to win with a time of 49:55.3. Karlsson’s teammate, Ebba Andersson was 33.3 seconds off the pace in the silver-medal spot at 50:28.6. Norway’s Tiril Udnes Weng won a tight race for the bronze medal, crossing the line in a time of 51:06.9.

Stewart-Jones and her Canadian mates will look to build on her solid opening weekend while striding further into the new cross-country ski season.

“I’m especially happy with the 10-kilometre classic (on Saturday),” added Stewart-Jones, who was 24th in that race. “I’ve struggled with pacing and the mental side of individual start races, but I am proud of how I executed my race plan yesterday.”

Canada’s two entries in the men’s 20-kilometre pursuit race struggled to make up any ground on the world-class field.

Graham Ritchie, of Parry Sound, Ont., placed 47th at 48:35.7. Olivier Léveillé, of Sherbrooke, Que., was 55th at 49;28.1.

Norway’s Johannes Klaebo and Paal Golberg skied to the top-two spots on the men’s podium for the second straight day. Klaebo completed a golden sweep of the three Ruka races, crossing the line first Sunday in a time of 45:30.6 and edging out his teammate Golberg in a photo finish. Golberg’s silver-medal time was 45:31.3. Italy’s Federico Pellegrino skied to the final spot on the podium at 45:31.9.

Complete Results: