Yukon cross-country skiier Dahria Beatty continued her Olympic quest Feb. 8 in the women’s sprint free event, achieving a personal best in her heat with a time of 3.25 on the 1.5 kilometre loop in the quarterfinal.
As noted in a Nordiq Canada media release, Beatty fought hard during the race, but came just short of making the semifinals. Camera footage determined she had crossed the finish line in fifth place in the quarterfinals, as one of three athletes to come in within less than 10 seconds of one another. The top two athletes in each heat were advanced to the next round along with the next two fastest times overall.
As Beatty described in a social media post: “Mixed it up in some Olympic sprint heats. After missing the heats at three world championships and the 2018 Olympics, I am happy to have finaly been able to make the sprint heats @beijing2022 tonight! And I had a lot of fun out there!!
“I gave it everything I had and came up a boot length short of moving onto the semifinals. Although I didn’t achieve the goal I had set for myself. I am proud of the way I went for it and I’m happy to come away with another Olympic PB ending the day in 25th!”
Beatty was the top Canadian in the sprint qualification rounds, placing 28th out of 90 skiers with a time of 3:23.54, which advanced her to the quarterfinals.
Ultimately, Sweden took both the gold and silver medals in the event thanks to Jonna Sundling (gold) and Maja Dahlqvist (silver). American skier Jessie Diggins took the bronze.
The sprint came three days after Beatty placed 28 out of 62 in the 15-kilometre skiathlon.
Medals for that event went to Therese Johaug of Norway (gold), Natalia Nepryaeva (silver) who is competing under the Russian Olympic Committee flag, and Teresa Stadlober of Austria (bronze).
The skiathlon was also a personal best for Beatty, having placed 52nd in the 2018 Olympic skiathlon..
Other events at the 2018 Games saw her place 42nd in the sprint and 37th in the 10 km category. With Team Canada, she and the team placed 13th in each the team sprint and the team relay.
“Really happy to come away with a 28th place finish in the Skiathlon today, a race I have historically struggled with,” Beatty stated in a social media post following the Feb. 5 race. “Looking forward to carrying this momentum into the rest of the Games!”
Before the Olympics got underway, on Feb. 3 Premier Sandy Silver issued a statement highlighting the athlete’s achievements.
“Dahria is an exemplary athlete and a wonderful testament to the Yukon spirit of determination and achievement,” he said, adding she’s part of a group of many athletes from the Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club who are excelling on the national and international level.
“Dahria’s consistent presence at the top level of competition speaks to the strength of this sport in our small but mighty territory,” he said.
Beatty’s next Olympic event will be the 10-kilometre classic on Feb. 10.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org