Emily Nishikawa nears spot on Sochi team

Emily Nishikawa has taken a large stride towards landing a spot on Canada's Olympic team.

Emily Nishikawa has taken a large stride towards landing a spot on Canada’s Olympic team.

The Whitehorse cross-country skier took first place in the open women’s 10-kilometre classic in the Haywood NorAm and Buff Sprints – the final selection races for Canada’s Olympic team – on Thursday in Canmore, Alta.

“It was a great race for me so I’m very excited,” said Nishikawa. “But there’s one more to go – one more distance race on Sunday – so I’m going to stay focused for that, do the best recovery I can and prepare as well as I can.”

The 24-year-old member of Canada’s development team completed the race in 32:32.1, almost a full minute ahead of second place finisher, Brittany Webster, who competed for Canada at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

“I had big lead in this race, I just pushed as hard as I could,” said Nishikawa. “I’m so very happy with how I raced today.”

Another top finish in Sunday’s 15-kilometre skiathlon would likely be enough to make Nishikawa Sochi bound.

She began the Olympic trials with fifth place in the open women’s 1.3-kilometre free sprint on Wednesday.

Nishikawa hadn’t decided whether or not she will compete in a second sprint race on Saturday when she spoke to the News Thursday afternoon.

Odds of two Nishikawas representing Canada in Sochi are not looking good.

Brother Graham Nishikawa placed seventh in the open men’s 15-kilometre classic on Thursday.

Surprisingly the 30-year-old distance skier had a much better result the previous day, placing third in the open men’s 1.7-kilometre free sprint.

“It’s a good result, I was doing it in preparation for tomorrow,” said Graham on Wednesday following the sprint race.

Graham will need a top finish in Sunday’s 30-kilometre skiathlon to stay in the running for a spot on the Olympic team.

Three women and four men skiers, none of whom are racing in Canmore this week, have already been nominated for Canada’s Olympic team. (Dasha Gaiazova, Perianne Jones and Chandra Crawford for the women, Alex Harvey, Devon Kershaw, Ivan Babikov, Lenny Valjas for the men.)

Team Canada can take a maximum of 12 skiers to the Games next month in Sochi, Russia.

“I think there are two spots for women and two spots for men, so they’ll probably take a distance and a sprint (skier),” said Emily.

Also competing at the trials are Whitehorse’s Knute Johnsgaard and Colin Abbott of the Yukon Elite Squad.

Johnsgaard placed 13th in the open men’s sprint Wednesday and 14th in the 15-kilometre classic Thursday.

Abbott darted to ninth place in the sprint and 25th in the classic.

Chances of making the Olympic team are slim, but Johnsgaard is also shooting for a spot at the World U23 and World Junior Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy, at the end of the month.

Whitehorse’s Dahria Beatty is hoping to qualify for her third junior worlds in Canmore. Beatty, who is in her last year of eligibility, took second place in the junior women’s five-kilometre classic on Thursday.

Beatty was one spot up from Whitehorse skier Annah Hanthorn, who moved to the Yukon from N.W.T. during the off-season and is also vying for a spot at the junior worlds.

The last Yukon cross-country skiers to compete at the Olympics were Jane Vincent and Lucy Steele at the Albertville Games in 1992. Yukon has never had a male skier make the Olympics.

Canada’s Olympic cross-country team will be announced on Tuesday.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley gives a COVID-19 update during a press conference in Whitehorse on May 26. The Yukon government announced two new cases of COVID-19 in the territory with a press release on Oct. 19. (Alistair Maitland Photography)
Two new cases of COVID-19 announced in Yukon

Contact tracing is complete and YG says there is no increased risk to the public

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on April 8. Yukon Energy faced a potential “critical” fuel shortage in January due to an avalanche blocking a shipping route from Skagway to the Yukon, according to an email obtained by the Yukon Party and questioned in the legislature on Oct. 14. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Energy faced ‘critical’ fuel shortage last January due to avalanche

An email obtained by the Yukon Party showed energy officials were concerned

Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys), the minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. “Our government is proud to be supporting Yukon’s grassroots organizations and First Nation governments in this critical work,” said McLean of the $175,000 from the Yukon government awarded to four community-based projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon government gives $175k to projects aimed at preventing violence against Indigenous women

Four projects were supported via the Prevention of Violence against Aboriginal Women Fund

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone

When I was a kid, CP Air had a monopoly on flights… Continue reading

asdf
EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

asdf
Today’s mailbox: Mad about MAD

Letters to the editor published Oct. 16, 2020

Alkan Air hangar in Whitehorse. Alkan Air has filed its response to a lawsuit over a 2019 plane crash that killed a Vancouver geologist on board, denying that there was any negligence on its part or the pilot’s. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Alkan Air responds to lawsuit over 2019 crash denying negligence, liability

Airline filed statement of defence Oct. 7 to lawsuit by spouse of geologist killed in crash

Whitehorse city council members voted Oct. 13 to decline an increase to their base salaries that was set to be made on Jan. 1. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Council declines increased wages for 2021

Members will not have wages adjusted for CPI

A vehicle is seen along Mount Sima Road in Whitehorse on May 12. At its Oct. 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the third reading for two separate bylaws that will allow the land sale and transfer agreements of city-owned land — a 127-square-metre piece next to 75 Ortona Ave. and 1.02 hectares of property behind three lots on Mount Sima Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Whitehorse properties could soon expand

Land sale agreements approved by council

Most Read