It has been a long month for Whitehorse’s Graham Nishikawa who has been competing on three continents and delivering personal-best performances. Unfortunately, last weekend’s races at the Canmore World Cup in Alberta, was not one of them.
The cross-country skier finished 51st in the 15-kilometre skate on Friday and 40th in the classic skate on Saturday, about mid-pack each race.
As he was coming off winning two gold medals at the Eastern Canadian Cross Country Championships in Cantley, Quebec, the Canmore races were a bit of a let down for Nishikawa, but not so much when he considers his schedule over the last month.
“It’s kind of at the end of a really crazy month of racing and travelling for me,” said Nishikawa. “I knew I wasn’t going to get the results I was hoping for here, but overall over the last month – I’ve gone to Estonia, Russia, Quebec, Ottawa and now the World Cup in Canmore – it’s been good on average. But this weekend wasn’t my best.”
Making matters worse, Nishikawa was entering his tired body against skiers preparing themselves to peak for the Vancouver Olympic Games next week.
“Everybody here was on their way to the Olympics,” said Nishikawa. “It’s one week before the Olympics, so everyone is in good shape
“It’s tough company, for sure.”
In World Cup events in Russia and Estonia, Nishikawa finished 17th in a 30-kilometre pursuit in the former and 31st in a 15-kilometre classic in the latter. His results there secured him a spot in North American World Cup events this spring.
In Quebec at the Eastern Championships, held January 26-28, Nishikawa won gold in the 10-kilometre free technique and 30-kilometre classic.
“Overall, I look at my whole month and I’m very happy I did a bunch of personal bests on the World Cup (tour),” said Nishikawa. “I saw a bunch of improvements and now I get a break and will head to the World Cups in the spring.
“I’m ready for a break now.”
Nishikawa will be heading to Scandinavia for a series of World Cup events next month.
Contact Tom Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org