Yukon North Of Ordinary

Sports archive for January 7, 2013

Emily Nishikawa strikes double gold at NorAm in Thunder Bay

The Thunder Bay Haywood NorAm three-race series wrapped up on Sunday with another win for Whitehorse cross-country skier Emily Nishikawa, who has been having a stellar season.

By Whitehorse Star on January 7, 2013 at 2:27 pm

The Thunder Bay Haywood NorAm three-race series wrapped up on Sunday with another win for Whitehorse cross-country skier Emily Nishikawa, who has been having a stellar season.

She picked up her second gold medal of the meet in the senior women’s individual start 10-km free technique race on Sunday, finishing the course in 29:01, almost 20 seconds ahead of the second place finisher.

The win marked her 11th NorAm victory as she cements her position as one of the country’s top distance racers. Not normally a strong sprinter, Nishikawa also picked up a bronze medal in the classic technique sprint race on Saturday.

Nishikawa, 23, wasn’t the only Yukon skier who excelled at the Thunder Bay races.

In the senior men’s 15-km free technique race, her brother Graham Nishikawa narrowly missed the podium with a fourth place finish, just one second back of the bronze medal.

The race was won by Thunder Bay’s hometown favourite Michael Somppi. Graham Nishikawa picked up a gold in last Thursday’s skiathlon competition.

Yukon Elite Squad member Colin Abbott had a superb race, finishing 16th overall in the senior men’s group, and his consistent high standing in the U-23 group makes him a strong bet for selection to the Canadian team heading off the World U-23 Championships later this month. The team will be announced by Cross-Country Canada in the next few days.

David Greer, who has also been having a strong season, once again hit the top-10 in the field on Sunday.

In Saturday’s sprint race, Dahria Beatty was in the A final of the junior women’s group and fighting for the lead when a missed step led to a fall and a disappointing fifth place finish.

A win would have meant automatic selection to the Canadian team heading off to the Czech Republic for the World Junior Championships.

On Sunday, Beatty finished in sixth place in her 10-km free technique race.

The NorAm circuit now moves to the Duntroon Highlands club just north of Toronto for a pair of races Jan. 26 and 27.

This will be the last chance for skiers in the senior categories to shine before the Canadian team is picked to go to the World Nordic Championships in Italy.

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