|Skari Wins World Cup Classic, Scott 14th|
Norwegian Olympic Gold Medallist Bente Skari proved she is still the reigning classical cross-country ski specialist when she won the 10 km event held this morning in Kuusamo, Finland.
Out of seventy-four competitors, Skari won by 24 seconds in a time of 28:23 over Estonian rival Kristina Smigun, who also won the silver medal at the world cup last weekend in Kiruna, Sweden. Newcoming Russian skier Lillia Vasileva earned the bronze in 29:09.
Canadian Olympic medallist Beckie Scott came in 14th, in a time of 29:47, and fellow teammate Sara Renner came in 61st. After a tremendous result for Scott in Kiruna, placing her a mere 2 seconds from the gold medal, she is not worried about this weekend’s result.
“The course was challenging, of course,”says Scott, “ but it wasn’t a reason for our results today. It just wasn’t the best day for us. We’re looking forward to better races next weekend.”
On the men’s side today, Russian skier Vassili Rotchev won the 15 km classic event in 38:21. The silver medal went to Czech Olympian Lukas Bauer, who skied 3 seconds short of the gold. German racer Axel Teichmann got the bronze in 38:41.
Scott and Renner are the only North Americans presently competing on the World Cup circuit. They travel to Davos, Switzerland tomorrow to prepare for next weekend’s races.
Yesterday the International Olympic Committee dismissed pleas made by Russian cross-country skiers Larissa Lazutina and Olga Danilova to appeal their Olympic disqualifications. The decision means Beckie Scott’s Olympic bronze from the pursuit race will be upgraded to a silver, and possibly to a gold medal.
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