Cross Country Canada
The 28-year-old Crawford and 26-year-old Jones took advantage of lightening quick exchanges in both of their crash-filled semifinal and final heats in the narrow downtown streets of Milano to climb their way onto the podium in the skate-sprint race.
“It was absolutely crazy with poles flying and crashes everywhere,” said Jones, of Almonte, Ont., who added the Canadian duo barely squeaked into the finals after she had a fall of her own in the semifinals. “Our exchanges were super good. We made up so much time tagging off to each other. This feels pretty awesome.”
The team sprint has 10 teams of two athletes racing three times each around a 1.6-kilometre course. Athletes tag off to their partner between legs. The top five teams in each of the two semifinal heats advance to the finals.
Sweden’s Hanna Brodin and Ida Ingemarsdotter won the gold, while Americans Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins sprinted to the silver.
Jones, who matched her career-best individual result on Saturday when she was 12th in the skate-sprint, was the frontrunner while Crawford, of Canmore, Alta., served as the anchor.
“This feels great. Today our whole goal was to relax, stay on our feet and kick when it counts,” said Crawford. “It is dynamite to be on the podium with Peri. We are a real team out here and want each other to succeed and it is awesome to share this with her.”
It was the second medal this season for the 2006 Olympic sprint champion, Crawford, and first-ever in Jones’ career.
“I was hoping this day was coming soon,” said Jones. “We are both in great shape and so we knew today we wouldn’t have to hammer the whole time. It is such a tight course so I just wanted to ski smart and relaxed. I’m super pumped right now.”
Canada did not field a men’s team. The World Cup now heads to Oteppa, Estonia.
Cross Country Canada 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 55,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities, including those on Canada’s National Ski Teams and Para-Nordic Ski Teams. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas, Teck Resources Ltd., Canadian Pacific, and Statoil – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and Own the Podium, Cross Country Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on Cross Country Canada, please visit us at www.cccski.com
Complete World Cup Results: http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?cal_suchsector=CC&event_id=30406
Top-5 Women and Canadian Results:
1. Sweden; 2. United States; 3. Canada, Chandra Crawford, Canmore, Alta./Perianne Jones, Almonte, Ont., 4. Norway; 5. Finland.