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Jezersek secures Australia's best ever World Championships result

27 February 2017

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: Barbara Jezersek has become Australia’s first ever cross country athlete to record a top thirty performance at a World Championships.

Competing in her first World Championships for Australia, having previously competed for Slovenia, Jezersek claimed 24th in the 15km Skiathlon in Lahti, Finland.

She finished just under 3 minutes behind one of the all-time greats in Marit Bjoergen of Norway having clocked a time of 40:50.9.

The event sees athletes ski in the classic technique over the first half of the race before transitioning to the free technique for the latter half of the race.

Jezersek skied the 17th fastest skate leg and is now looking forward to the 30km Freestyle event on Saturday.

Jezersek competed at both the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics and is looking to compete for Australia at the PyeongChang 2018 Games.

The weekend also saw Australia’s two relay teams compete in the 6 x 1.3km classic events with both bowing out at the opening semi-final stage of the competition.

Phil Bellingham and Paul Kovacs finished strongly to hold off Romania in their heat, and in doing so clocked a faster time than Lithuania and Slovakia to move them into 19th in the 24 team field. The Aussie duo were 1:26.04 behind Russia’s leading time.

Katerina Paul, who has only stepped up to senior competition this year, linked up with and Jessica Yeaton to finish 17th in the field of 17 as they were just over 3 minutes behind the Norwegians.

Matt Bartolo
olympcis.com.au

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