Whitehorse skiers consistent at world championship

It’s steady as she goes for three Whitehorse skiers at 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships this week in Lahti, Finland.

It’s steady as she goes for three Whitehorse skiers at 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships this week in Lahti, Finland.

Knute Johnsgaard, Dahria Beatty and Olympian Emily Nishikawa have each competed in two individual races and have produced some consistent finishes.

All three have logged two finishes within two spots on the leaderboard.

Nishikawa placed 38th in the women’s 15-kilometre skiathlon (42:26.8) on Feb. 25 and was the second Canadian, one spot behind teammate Katherine Stewart-Jones in 36th.

The 27-year-old then placed 37th in the women’s 10-kilometre classic (28:39.8) on Feb. 28.

“I didn’t have the best performance in the skiathlon where I struggled with my skis a little,” said Nishikawa in an email to the News. “Today in the 10-kilometre I had a great race. I started really fast and was sitting in 21st place after the first split, unfortunately I couldn’t hold on to that pace for the whole race, but I’m proud of the way I skied a gutsy race. It is important to take risks in ski racing and that is what I did today, it didn’t pay off in terms of the best result for me, but it was nice to have a solid performance that I’m proud of.”

Beatty placed 37th in the women’s sprint as the top Canadian on Feb. 23. The 22-year-old followed that up with 39th in the 10-kilometre classic (28:49.8) on Feb. 28.

Beatty and Canadian teammate Cendrine Browne placed 13th out of 17 in the team sprint on Feb. 26.

“Worlds has been a really great experience so far. The event has a great atmosphere,” said Beatty in an email to the News. “I have done my first two races and I have three left … the 10-kilometre classic, relay and 30-kilometre skate. I will be doing the anchor leg for the relay which I am really looking forward to.”

Johnsgaard, who like Beatty is at his first senior worlds, managed to place within two spots despite racing two very different events.

The 24-year-old took 53rd in the men’s sprint on Feb. 23 and 55th in the 30-kilometre skiathlon (1:17:56.9) on Feb. 25.

The cross-country worlds will wrap up on March 5.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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