Cendrine Browne Skis into Elite Group of 30 for first Time in Career at World Cross-Country Ski Championships
Cross Country Canada —Canadian women take another step forward in development with solid World Championship results—
LAHTI, Fin.—Canada’s Cendrine Browne proved she can compete with the best on the planet after skiing into the elite group of 30 for the first time of her career at the World Cross-Country Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland on Saturday.
The 23 year old posted a career-best finish after clocking a time of 1:11:52.8 in the women’s 30-kilometre skate-ski marathon to close her 2017 World Championships.
“I really surprised myself today. I had the legs, the power and the shape so it was an awesome race,” said the beaming Saint-Jérôme, Que. product following the race.
Browne was in the lead pack matching strides with the best in the world for the first half of the Nordic grind. She dropped off the lead group with a handful of other girls at the halfway point of the race, and was still competing in the top-20 until the final four kilometres where she dropped once again to 26th.
“I was in that first pack for a while. I was feeling no pain for the first 10 kilometres and kept thinking ‘I can do this,’” said Browne. “This gives me a lot of confidence for the future and shows me the Canadian girls can be in the top-30 with the best in the world. We are competitive. We can do this.”
They certainly are proving they can.
A group of NextGen athletes taking small, yet significant, strides forward in their development this year have had a solid World Championships, highlighted by a 10th-place finish in the 4×5 kilometre relay on Thursday.
Dahria Beatty, of Whitehorse, who has been leading the next generation of elite women for most of the year, was also in the lead group for the first five kilometres before the pace got the best of her. The 22-year-old finished just outside the top-30 in 34th spot with a time of 1:13:22.0.
Emily Nishikawa, of Whitehorse and Katherine Stewart-Jones, of Chelsea, Que., finished 40th and 41st respectively. Nishikawa stopped the clock at 1:15:18.3, while Stewart-Jones crossed the line at 1:15:55.4.
The Norwegians swept the women’s podium. The legendary Marit Bjoergen topped her teammates by two seconds to take the gold medal with a time of 1:08:36.8. Heidi Weng won a photo finish for the silver medal over Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen. Both athletes stopped the clocked at 1:08:38.7.
The final race of the World Cross-Country Ski Championships is set for Sunday with the prestigious men’s 50-kilometre skate-ski race.
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Complete Women’s Relay Results: http://bit.ly/2m820sh
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