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NEARING THE END – Yukon cross-country skiers Dahria Beatty (44) and Emily Nishikawa (40) near the end of the 30-kilometre World Ski Championship race in Seefeld, Austria on Saturday. Photo by BOB NISHIKAWA

Nishikawa, Beatty compete in Austria

The FIS Nordic Ski Championships took place from Feb. 19-March 3 in Seefeld, Austria.

By John Tonin on March 6, 2019

The FIS Nordic Ski Championships took place from Feb. 19-March 3 in Seefeld, Austria. The Yukon was well represented at the cross-country skiing championships with Emily Nishikawa and Dahria Beatty both competing.

Nishikawa said the championships are at the biggest event of the season and biggest outside of Olympic years. She said while in Seefeld the conditions and weather were great for skiing.

“This was great, there were lots of fans so it was loud,” said Nishikawa. “The weather was beautiful. We raced at 12 C so it was a little bit slower but there was lots of snow in Austria so it was still in a good condition.”

The two skiers competed in four races during the championships, teaming up for two of the events. The first event the two teamed up for was the teamsprint, an event they competed in together in Pyeongchang.

In the teamsprint event each athlete skis three short laps taking about three minutes to complete. The two came in 12th place.

“The sprint is a really great race,” said Nishikawa. “We both did our best and did everything we could.”

The next race for the two skiers was the 10-kilometre classic race. Nishikawa raced to the 36th position finishing with a time of 29:38.2. Beatty came 49th with a final time of 30:41.4.

The two then teamed up again along with fellow Canadians Katherine Stewart-Jones and Cendrine Browne for the 4x5-kilometre relay. The team came in 12th finishing in 1:00:23.7. Nishikawa was the second skier after Stewart-Jones.

“I skied well in the relay,” said Nishikawa. “You are not just skiing for yourself but for your teammates as well. It gives you more motivation, more energy to dig deeper. It is a great atmosphere and you want to be your very best to tag off to your teammate in the best possible position.”

The final race for the two Yukon athletes was the 30-kilometre mass start race. Nishikawa posted a time of 1:24:37.7 placing her 39th overall. Beatty came in 49th with a time of 1:26:07.5.

Nishikawa will next compete at the Canadian Ski Championships near Ottawa in mid-March, however, she said her next big focus will be on the ski championships in Quebec in late March.

“Quebec is my next big focus so now I’m recovering for it,” said Nishikawa. “It will be a special event to finish off the season.”

Before the competition in Quebec, Nishikawa said at this point in the season you can’t make big improvements, it is just about adjusting the small details.

“Now it is fine-tuning,” said Nishikawa. “It is about refining the little things and making sure you go in rested with good energy.”

Since the event is in Canada Nishikawa believes it will give her an advantage over the Europeans who will also have to be battling jet lag.

“It is a huge benefit the races are in Canada,” said Nishikawa. “I’m looking for my best results in Canada and I think I’m set up to do so.

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