|Canada Keeps Hauling in the Gold|
Canadian athletes had a banner day at the Disabled Cross-Country World Cup Finals, netting two gold, one silver and one bronze medal in the men's and women's sprint events at Mont Orford, Que.
Canada's Brian McKeever, along with his guide and brother, Robin McKeever, continued their dominance of the Disabled World circuit, capturing their third medal of the week on Friday, this time a gold, after posting a time of 50.3 seconds.
"The performance that our team had today really shows the progress that we're making as a nation and demonstrates the program is working," said McKeever, who has one middle-distance race to complete before leaving Mont Orford. "We're looking now to finish off the season during tomorrow's race with everything we've got, and hopefully walk away with one more gold medal."
Tyler Mosher, of Whistler, B.C., competed in a different class of sprinting events, and finished in 11th place in his group, in 1:53.8.
Canadians also led the way in the women's sit-ski sprints. Shauna-Maria Whyte, of Hinton, Alta., won gold, flying through the 700-metre course, in a time of 1:30.8. She was joined on the podium by Colette Bourgonje, of Saskatoon, who won the silver medal with a time of 1:32.2. Other Canadian finishers included Kelsi Paul, of Saskatoon, in ninth spot (2:07.2), Joan Reid, of Vernon, B.C., in 10th place and Joelle Buckle, of Bruno, Sask., in 11th place (4:34.8).
In the men's sit-ski competition, Jean-Thomas Boily, of Orford, Que., won the bronze medal in front of his hometown crowd, posting a time of 1:15.7. The other two Canadians entered in the event included: Tony Flores, who came 19th (1:46.8), and Michael Manderscheid, of Bruno, Sask., who finished 20th (2:13.2).
Meanwhile, in Europe, two of Canada's senior men strapped on the skis to compete in a 15 x 15 km double pursuit, at the Viessmann Cross-Country Ski World Cup in Oberstdorf, Germany. George Grey, of Rossland, B.C., posted a time of 1:21:28.8, to finish in 38th place. He was followed by teammate Chris Jeffries, of Chelsea, Que., who crossed the line with a time of 1:22:08.1, good enough for a 44th-place finish.
"We are definitely seeing bright things on the horizon for the entire team. We had some good results on consecutive days at the World Juniors and yesterday's accomplishments at the Under-23 World Championships were extremely good," said Dave Wood, head coach, Canadian Cross-Country Ski Team. "The team isn't just having one-offs - they are posting strong results each time we race. I'm optimistic about what lies ahead down the road."
Germany's Rene Sommerfeldt, was first to cross the line after posting a time of 1:16:02.9, barely ahead of the silver medallist, Switzerland's Reto Burgermeister (1:16:05.7). Lukas Bauer, of the Czech Republic, who ended the day with a time of 1:16:10.4, took third place on the podium.
The Disabled Cross-Country World Cup Finals wrap up on Saturday, with the middle-distance events in Mont Orford, Quebec. Canadian athletes will also be competing over the weekend in the Under-23 World Championships at Soldier Hollow, Utah, while the country's best women will be back on track at a World Cup event in Oberstdorf, Germany.
Complete Results from the Disabled Cross-Country World Cup Finals: www.xcworldcupfinal.com
Complete Results from the FIS World Cup Cross-Country: www.fis-ski.com
World Cup Men's 15 x 15 km Double Pursuit
1 Germany Rene Sommerfeldt 1:16:02.9
2 Switzerland Reto Burgermeister +2.8
3 Czech Rep. Lukas Bauer +7.5
4 Italy Fulvio Valbusa +39.6
5 Sweden Anders Soedergren +41.6
6 Sweden Mathias Fredriksson +55.7
7 Germany Jens Filbrich +1:06.7
8 Czech Rep. Jiri Magal +1:08.4
9 France Vincent Vittoz +1:38.3
10 Russia Nikolai Pankratov +1:38.7
11 Canada George Grey +5:25.9
15 Canada Chris Jeffries +6:05.2
Source: Cross Country Canada
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