Canada’s Dahria Beatty Sprints to 16th at Cross Country Skiing World Cup in Germany
Cross Country Canada —Beatty locks up World Championships spot after finishing one place shy of career best World Cup result—
DRESDEN, Ger.—Dahria Beatty finished one place shy of matching her career-best World Cup performance after a hard-fought 16th-place finish in a cross-country skate-ski sprint race on the streets of Dresden, Germany on Saturday.
The Whitehorse-based Olympian was the lone Canadian to qualify for the head-to-head heats where she held her own against many of the top Nordic sprinters in the world.
“I am really happy to have made my first World Cup heats of the season,” said Beatty. “I really enjoy racing here in Dresden. City sprinting is a ton of fun. It is a beautiful city and it created a great atmosphere with all of the fans cheering as we raced along the river.”
The 24-year-old punched her ticket into the round of 30 after qualifying in 20th spot on the 1.6-kilometre snow-covered track that was rolled out along the Elbe River with Dresden’s historic buildings serving as a spectacular backdrop as many of the world’s best battled head-to-head.
Lined up alongside World Cup sprint leader, Stina Nilsson in the quarter-final round, Beatty battled at the front of the pack through the twist, turns and straightaways until the midway point of the relatively flat course where she dropped to fourth place. With the two Swedish athletes edging ahead down the finish stretch, Beatty was left lunging at the finish for third place and one of two lucky loser positions for the semifinals.
The top-two athletes in each heat along with the next two fastest times advance. Beatty’s day came to end when her time did not hold up for one of the two “Lucky Loser” spots.
“I would have loved to have made the semis, and was pretty close today, but I will keep chasing that goal,” added Beatty. “I stayed in behind when Stina attacked on the second lap and a gap opened up between the top-two and the rest. It was a bit too much to bring that gap back.
“I made a few small mistakes tactically in my heat, but my skis were amazing and I felt strong today. Hopefully I have another shot next weekend in Otepaa.”
It was the Swede’s who stole the show in Dresden, sweeping the women’s podium. Stina Nilsson went on to win the finals, followed by Maja Dahlqvist. Jonna Sundling rounded out the podium.
Beatty’s best World Cup result came in 2016 when she was 15th during a sprint race at the Ski Tour Canada in Canmore, Alta. The 2018 Olympian also finished 20th one year ago in Seefeld, Austria – the venue for this year’s World Championships.
“Today’s race officially qualifies me for World Champs so that takes a bit of pressure off. Now I will be focusing on trying to build some momentum and refine a few things before racing in Seefeld next month,” said Beatty.
Two Canadians also suited up in the men’s sprint race. Bob Thompson, of Thunder Bay, Ont., finished just short of earning a spot in the heats after posting the 32nd fastest qualifying time. Toronto’s Len Valjas placed 47th.
Norway’s Sindre Bjoernestad won the men’s race. Russia’s Gleb Retivykh skied to the silver medal, while Norway’s Erik Valnes was third.
The World Cup continues on Sunday in Dresden with the team sprint races.
CCC is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 60,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities, including those on Canada’s National Ski Teams. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas, Swix and Lanctôt Sports– along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Own the Podium and B2Ten, CCC develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on CCC, please visit us at www.cccski.com.
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