Nishikawa cracks top 10 twice in Sweden

With the start of the FIS World Cup season less than a week away, Whitehorse’s Emily Nishikawa appears ready for another great season.

With the start of the FIS World Cup season less than a week away, Whitehorse’s Emily Nishikawa appears ready for another great season.

The 26-year-old produced two top-10 results against a field of blue-chip cross-country skiers in a pair of International Ski Federation races over the weekend in Gallivare, Sweden.

The FIS event featured the final races before the start of the World Cup season this coming weekend in Ruka, Finland.

“I was happy to start the season with a good race! I’ve had a good summer of training and feeling strong coming into the race season so I was really excited to race today (on Saturday),” said Nishikawa in a news release. “I felt strong in my quarter- and semifinal, but not as good in the final. I made some poor lane choices at the start and got myself boxed out on the first climb and wasn’t able to really do much after that. Overall, I was really happy with how I skied today. I’m looking forward to … the start of the World Cup season next weekend.”

Nishikawa, who was the only Canadian in the women’s races, kicked off her European race season with a sixth place finish in the one-kilometre classic sprint race Saturday. She posted the fifth fastest qualifying time, won her opening round and placed second in the semifinal.

World championship gold medalist Jessica Diggins of the U.S. took first, American Olympian Sophie Caldwell placed second and Czech Olympian Karolina Grohova in third. Nishikawa placed ahead of 2015 world championship bronze medalist Caitlin Gregg of the U.S. in seventh.

Nishikawa then claimed 10th in the women’s 10-kilometre skate-ski race on Sunday, posting a time of 27:43.9.

The Sochi Olympian produced three top-30 results on the World Cup tour in Europe last season.

Nishikawa also raced at her second world championships in March before hurrying back to Canada to win gold in the women’s 10-kilometre classic at the Haywood Ski Nationals.

Canadian teammate Alex Harvey of Quebec captured silver in the 15-kilometre skate-ski on Sunday in Gallivare.

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