Maya MacIsaac-Jones Sprints to Career-Best World Cup Finish in Falun
FALUN, Swe.—Canada’s Maya MacIsaac-Jones sprinted to the best finish in her young World Cup cross-country ski career, placing 24th in Falun, Sweden on Saturday.
The 24-year-old Albertan qualified for the head-to-head heats with the fastest 30 athletes on the 1.4-kilometre classic-ski sprint course in 23rd spot.
“I am really happy with today. I was able to execute the qualifier how I wanted, and being able to translate that into a strong time feels great,” said Jones, who is focused on scrapping her way back onto the National Ski Team this season.
It was just the second time ever the determined Canuck has qualified for the heats on the elite circuit. She also mixed it up with the world’s best in the head-to-head heats as a 20-year-old in 2016 at a World Cup stop in Gatineau, Que. She was 29th in that race.
On Saturday, her day came to an end after the opening quarter-final round.
“In the heats, I was of course aiming to move on to the semifinals, but for me, this is a motivating place to build from,” added MacIsaac-Jones. “This past month of racing has given me a lot of confidence in my speed and fitness. Ending this trip on a high note is a great way to head into a training block before the Canadian World Cups in March.”
Sweden’s Linn Svahn won the women’s race. Russia’s Natalia Nepryaeva skied to the silver medal, while Sweden’s Jonna Sundling claimed the bronze.
Canada’s Dahria Beatty, of Whitehorse, was 37th. Cendrine Browne, of Saint-Jérôme, Que., was 43rd in her return to World Cup action. Vancouver’s Katie Weaver placed 48th.
A trio of Canadians also suited up for the men’s classic-ski sprint race, but none were able to qualify for a spot in the heats.
Bob Thompson, of Thunder Bay, Ont., skied to 43rd spot. Quebecers, Alexis Dumas and Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier were 62nd and 64th respectively.
The Norwegians grabbed the top-two spots on men’s podium. Paal Golberg won the gold, while Erik Valnes claimed second place. Russia’s Alexander Bolshunov rounded out the podium in third place.
Complete World Cup Results: https://www.fis-ski.com/DB/general/event-details.html?sectorcode=CC&eventid=45175&seasoncode=2020
Brian McKeever and Graham Nishikawa Ski to Silver at Para-Nordic World Cup in Germany
Canada’s Brian McKeever and Graham Nishikawa bounced back after a difficult week on the Para-Nordic World Cup to claim a silver medal in the men’s middle-distance classic-ski race.
Coming off two disappointing fourth-place finishes, the 40-year-old Canmore, Alta. native dug deep with guide Graham Nishikawa of Whitehorse to post a second-place time of 35:04.4 in the 15-kilometre race.
The 17-time Paralympic medallist is now one point behind Sweden’s Zebastian Modin for first place overall on the Para-Nordic World Cup circuit.
McKeever and Nishikawa finished behind Russia’s Stanislav Chokhlaev and Oleg Kolodiichuk who won the gold with a time of 34:36.6.
Oleg Ponomarev and Andrei Romanov, also of Russia, was third at 35:52.2.
Complete Para-Nordic World Cup Results: https://www.fis-ski.com/DB/general/event-details.html?sectorcode=CC&eventid=45175&seasoncode=2020
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