|Canada's Perianne Jones Leads Young Canucks into Top-15 at World Juniors|
Rovaniemi, FIN-Perianne Jones posted one of the strongest distance race results in nearly a decade for a Canadian junior cross-country skier at the at the Nordic Junior World Championships in Rovaniemi, Finland on Friday.
The 19-year-old Jones finished 14th in the women's five-kilometre free technique event with a time of 15 minutes 26.1 seconds. It marks the best performance by a junior Canuck in a distance race at the world championships since Amanada Fortier was eighth in 1996.
Jones, of Almonte, Ont., who is making her third trip to the international junior spectacle, maintained pace with the pack under cloudy skies and wet snow conditions off the start, but kicked it into high gear and made up eight spots in the final half of the race before crossing the finish line.
"This definitely surpasses any expectations I had heading into the week," said a jubilant Jones, who also finished 15th in the women's sprint earlier this week. "I thought I'd do well in the sprints, but I think this proves to myself that I am developing into a strong all-round skier. It was a great race and I'm very happy with my results this week overall."
Amanda Ammar of Onoway, Alta. was the only other Canadian woman to suit up on Friday and finished a disappointing 44th in the field of 71 junior women with a time of 16:10.2.
The Russians dominated the women's event. Natalija Iliana made her way to the top step of the podium after crossing the finish line with a time of 14:24.8. Iliana's teammate, Joulia Kolesnitchenko won the dash for second in a photo finish with a time of 14:39.2. Norway's Betty-Ann Nilsen settled for the bronze medal (14:39.2).
The Canadian men struggled in the 10-kilometre free technique event against the world's best. Alex Harvey of St. Fereol des Neiges, Que., the son of legendary Canadian cross-country skier Pierre Harvey, was the bright spot for the baby Canucks. The 16-year-old rookie turned in a solid performance, finishing tied for 43rd (25:24.1) in a field of 91 athletes. Other Canadian results included: Brent McMurtry of Calgary in 47th (25:37.6); Chris Butler of Thunder Bay, Ont. in 71st (26:51.5); and Justin Kangarloo of Calgary in 82nd (27:41.3).
Norway's Petter Narthug made his third straight trip this week to the gold medal position on the podium after setting the time to beat at 23:06.1. Japan's Keishin Yoshida shocked the field with a silver medal performance after stopping the clock at 23:36.1, while Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen was third at 23:41.7.
Cross Country Canada is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada. Its 45,000 members are athletes, coaches and officials, including members of the Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team and Canadian Disabled Cross-Country Ski Team. Cross-country skiing is Canada's optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually.
Complete Results: www.jwsc2005.net
Women's Top-5 (5 Kilometre Free Technique):
1Natalja Iliana, RUS, 14:24.8; 2. Joulia Kolesnitchenko, RUS, 14:39.2; 3. Betty-Ann Nilsen, NOR, 14:39.8; 4. Evgenija Bazarnova, RUS, 14:41.0; 5. Sophie Fargeas, FRA, 14:57.7.
14. Perianne Jones, Almonte, Ont., 15:26.1; 44. Amanda Ammar, Onoway, Alta., 16:10.2
Men's Top-5 (10 Kilometre Free Technique:
1.Petter Narthug, NOR, 23:06.1; 2. Keishin Yoshida, JPN, 23:36.1; 3. Emil Hegle Svendsen, NOR, 23:41.7; 4. Ronny Andre Hafsaas, NOR, 23:55.7; 5. Nikolay Khokhryakov, RUS, 23:58.0.
T43. Alex Harvey, St. Fereol des Neiges, Que.; 47. Brent McMurtry, Calgary, 25:37.6; 71. Chris Butler, Thunder Bay, Ont., 26:51.5; 82. Justin Kangarloo, Calgary, 27:41.3.
Source: Cross Country Canada
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