Cross-Country World Championships | A “correct” 38th place for Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt in the sprint

The three Quebecers entered in the classic sprint of the World Cross-Country Skiing Championships were unable to make it through the qualifying round on Thursday in Planica, Slovenia. Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt and Liliane Gagnon respectively ranked 38e and 47ewhile in men, Antoine Cyr took 38e rank. The 30 fastest in qualifying progressed to the elimination tables.

Ontario’s Graham Ritchie was the country’s only representative to reach the quarter-finals. He finished fourth in his round, good for 20e rank in the final standings.

Olivia Bouffard-Nesbitt had moderate expectations going into her first Worlds start and that’s why she has mixed feelings that she missed out on qualifying by 3.17 seconds. The reason for these lower expectations is that its preparation has been slowed down in recent weeks.

“The last two months have been difficult for me in training, because I was very tired. So I feel a little rusty. On the one hand, I’m disappointed to have missed the heats, but on the other, it could be worse. I’m still happy to have been at the start and to have skied correctly,” said the cross-country skier from Morin-Heights.

“My energy has returned, but what I miss is my form. I’m healthy, but I lack cardio. I have confidence in my technique and have changed my expectations of results. »

Sweden swept the women’s podium with performances from Jonna Sundling, Emma Ribom and Maja Dahlqvist. Yukoner Dahria Beatty was the top Canadian with her 35e place.

At the Davos sprint in December, the Olympian had reached the quarter-finals for the first time in the World Cup. That run marked the end of a block of four consecutive World Cups, another career first for her. Once she got home, her motivation to do more in training was on the rise and that was the gateway to this bout of fatigue.

“I didn’t take enough time to rest at Christmas. […] In the future, after any series of races, I will rest until I really feel ready to start training again. »

The Quebec race schedule at the worlds will be defined if she participates in the team sprint or the relay.

On the men’s side, the Norwegian and double Olympic champion in the specialty, Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, easily won the final and at the same time his third consecutive world title in the sprint ahead of his compatriot Paal Goldberg. Frenchman Jules Chappaz completed the podium.

The men’s skiathlon will be presented on Friday. Antoine Cyr and Olivier Léveillé will be at the start with their compatriots Russell Kennedy and Xavier McKeever. The women’s skiathlon will be held on Saturday.

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