Harvey scores first World medal for Canadian male in history
It was Sprints Day at the Nordic World Championships with the promising US women's squad getting ousted in the quarter finals and Canadian Alex Harvey making history.
To no one's surprise Norway's Marit Bjoergen claimed her ninth world title in her fifth World title meet. She also owns seven Olympic medals.
Ida Ingemarsdotter of Sweden earned the silver medal and Maiken Caspersen of Norway the bronze.
The men's sprint crown went to Nikita Kriukov of Russian with Norway's Petter Northug in for silver and Canadian Alex Harvey snaring the bronze. American Andy Newell fell victim in the quarters.
The medal for Harvey was the first for a Canadian male in an individual event at World Championships.
“I am so thrilled,” he told the Canadian Press. “The day started a little tricky with me qualifying 26th, but the skis sped up as the day went along and I felt absolutely great in the final.”
The medal, he said, was “absolutely huge.”
Falling snow made racing difficult and put the waxing rooms in a state of turmoil as each course report seemed to call for a preparation change. Harvey said he “just tried to stay connected to the pack,” during the early going. Bjoergen said her skis had been perfect. “The guys in the wax cabin did a great job.”
All three qualifying Americans went down in the quarter finals with Kikkan Randall and Sophie Caldwell joining Newell.
US All-Star Randall said, “I didn't feel like I could really access that sprint gear today. I felt like I was going as hard as I could and not really even hanging on but I got myself back in there a couple of times. I was happy with the way I skied that 180 degree corner and thought I was back in contention but I don't think I should have gone in my own lane before the bump to the finish. I think I should have stayed in the draft. I was pretty maxed out. I didn't have a ton of gas in the finish.”
Sophie Caldwell also got through qualifiers, but ran with the first group and got edged with the fourth finish in the quarter finals.