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Cross Country Canada – LAHTI, Fin.—Dahria Beatty finished in 24th spot as the lone Canadian to suit up for the women’s skate-ski sprint race in Lahti, Finland on Saturday.

The Whitehorse-based Olympian completed her final tune-up for the World Championships with a solid outing on the hilly Lahti track. Qualifying for the head-to-head heats in 25th with the top-30 athletes, Beatty matched strides with many of the top sprinters in the world.

“I was quite happy with my qualifier. I was able to execute my game plan well,” said Beatty who built on the experience of racing three times before in Lahti but had never qualified for the heats.

“Going into today I felt confident that if I took what I have learned from previous years, and stuck to my plan, I could make the heats.”

The 24-year-old had good vibes heading into her quarter-final heat on the fast 1.4-kilometre track but came up short in advancing with the top-two athletes into the next round after a tight battle.

“I was happy with how my body felt skiing in my heat today, but I kept putting myself in positions where I got a bit boxed out. The final corner at the top of the big climb is always a decisive spot on this course. I tried to stay in contact there for the finish, but it ended up a bit strung out over the top,” added Beatty.

“It maybe wasn’t the best tactics today, but I feel like my fitness is good again after our training camp in Davos and that gives me confidence heading into World Championships.”

Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla won Saturday’s sprint. American, Sophie Caldwell, scrapped her way to the silver medal, while Sweden’s Maja Dahlqvist rounded out the women’s podium in third.

In the men’s race, Evan Palmer-Charettette was the lone Canadian to hit the start line and qualified 67th.

Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo won the gold.

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Chris Dornan

Media and Public Relations

Cross Country Canada

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