|Gaiazova 16th in World Junior 5km Classic|
Nineteen-year old Daria Gaiazova proved why she is one of Canada's best cross-country skiers today when she placed 16th in the 5 km classic World Junior cross-country ski race held in Solleftea, Sweden.
The Montreal skier crossed the line in 16:20.6 this morning, just 30 seconds from silver medallist Ekaterina Vorontsova of Russia and 20 seconds from the top-5. After breaking the top-30 in Tuesday's 15 km skate race to come in 29th, Gaiazova is more than pleased with today's outcome.
"I felt great," says Daria over the phone from her hotel. "It is so amazing to be skiing with so many fast people, with such tight competition. I was sore and tired after the 15 km, but now I realize that anything can happen in the next race."
Today's winner was Finnish speedster Mona-Lisa Malvalehto, who crossed the line in 15:23.5. The Finn, who placed 9th in the 15 km, was clearly seeking revenge over the Russians after a disappointing result Tuesday. Malvalehto's final time placed her well ahead of silver medallist Vorontsova, who crossed in 15:49.3, and of bronze medallist Elena Plotzskoja also of Russia, who crossed in 15:54.5. Vorontsova was the winner of Tuesday's 15 km freestyle event and the favorite to win today.
Other top Canadians in the women's 5 km classic were Madeleine Williams of Edmonton in 40th, Perianne Jones of Almonte, Ontario, in 48th, and Chandra Crawford of Canmore, Alberta, in 52nd. The top American was Lyndsey Weier in 19th, with a final time of 16:25.5. There were 64 of the world's best female junior racers competing today.
On the Men's side in the 10 km classic, the Russians took the gold and bronze medals with Eugeni Dementiev finishing far in front with a final time of 27:40.0. Dementiev will add the gold to his bronze medal from Tuesday's 30 km freestyle race. In second place was Kazakhstan's Yevgeniy Koschevoy who just beat out Dementiev's teammate Maxim Bulgakov by 2 seconds in his time of 28:09.1. The top Canadian today was North Bay's Dave Nighbor who posted a 30:01.2 time to come in 34th. He was followed by teammates Graham Nishikawa of Whitehorse in 52nd, Sean Crooks of Thunder Bay in 61st, and Cyrus Kangarloo of Calgary in 65th. The top North American was American Lelf-Orin Zimmerman in 26th with a time of 29:47.4.
Nighbor felt he had nothing to lose today. "After my disappointment with the 30 km race I felt today I had to go as hard as I could." "I feel alright," Nighbor continues," I thought I'd be a bit more tired, I guess."
Canadian Junior National Team Head Coach Alain Parent is quite happy with how the day's events unfolded. " It was a good day for the team, for sure, " says Parent. " We are really looking forward to this weekend's sprint and relay events now."
The World Juniors schedule continues with the Sprint finals on Saturday and the Relay events on Sunday.
1) Mona-Lisa Malvalehto FIN 15:23.5
2) Ekaterina Vorontsova RUS 15:49.3
3) Elena Plotzskoja RUS 15:54.5
4) Julia Limby SWE 15:55.6
5) Justyna Kowalczyk POL 15:59.0
6) Valentina Novikova RUS 16:00.5
7) Maria Rydqvist SWE 16:02.0
8) Helena Kallander SWE 16:02.3
9) Mette Geverby NOR 16:03.8
10) Ivana Janeckova CZE 16:08.6
16) Daria Gaiazova CAN 16:20.6
40) Madeleine Williams CAN 16:59.2
48) Perianne Jones CAN 17:16.3
52) Chandra Crawford CAN 17:28.0
1) Eugeni Dementiev RUS 27:40.0
2) Yevgeniy Koschevoy KAZ 28:09.1
3) Maxim Bulgakov RUS 28:11.9
4) Franz Goering GER 28:19.5
5) Oeystein Pettersen NOR 28:26.5
6) Artern Norim RUS 28:30.6
7) Matti Heikkinen FIN 28:32.5
8) Alexey Poltaranil KAZ 28:41.7
9) Chris Jespersen NOR 28:41.9
10) Jesse Vaeanaenen FIN 28:45.5
34) Dave Nighbor CAN 30:01.2
52) Graham Nishikawa CAN 30:53.5
61) Sean Crooks CAN 31:31.6
65) Cyrus Kangarloo CAN 31:43.6
For complete race results: jvm2003.nu
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