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Classic events test Aussies in Lahti

2 March 2017

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: Australia’s cross country skiers have continued their solid run at the Nordic Ski World Championships in Lahti, Finland.

In challenging waxing conditions, Jessica Yeaton secured Australia’s best result claiming 48th in the women’s 10km classic event.

She was just over 4 minutes off gold medallist Marit Bjoergen of Norway who was in a class of her own as she won the event by 41 seconds.

Barbara Jezersek, who claimed Australia’s best ever World Championship result earlier this week, started well and looked in contention for a top forty finish before fading to 51st while Aimee Watson finished 55th out of the field of 72 starters.

In the men’s 15km classic Phil Bellingham scored his best World Championship distance result with 60th place, five and a half minutes behind local favourite Iivo Niskanen of Finland who claimed gold. Fellow Aussie Paul Kovacs finished just under 6 minutes off the winner in 62nd out of 88 men.

Next up for the team is tonight’s 4x5km women’s relay where Yeaton, Jezersek and Watson will link up with Katerina Paul.

This will only be the third time that Australia has entered a women’s relay at a World Championships.

With short laps the Australian team will have to be on their game in order to avoid being lapped out from the race, which did happen in 2015.

Matt Bartolo

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