Thursday, February 6, 2003 - Results
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

Top Canadians
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

Top Canadians
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:

Source: CCC

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