March 14, 2012
Viljas skis to second World Cup medal
By QMI Agency
Len Valjas of Toronto skied to his second World Cup medal in as many weeks Wednesday in Stockholm, Sweden, upping Canada's medal haul this season to 10.
Valjas grabbed the bronze medal in the classic technique sprint race at the World Cup cross-country skiing finals a week after finishing second in a similar event in Drammen, Norway. The 23-year-old barely made it into the head-to-head heats, slipping into the 30th and final spot in qualifying before making a huge move to grab a podium finish.
"I'm still a little shocked because I didn't expect this finish, but I am really happy," Valjas said. "I made a little mistake double poling in qualifying, but I was lucky to squeak into 30th. I had to dig deep, but it made it pretty fun to be able to move from 30th to the podium today."
Norway's Erik Brandsdal won the race, followed by Sweden's Teodor Peterson.
Alex Harvey of St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., wound up 14th while Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont., was 19th.
In the women's race, Chandra Crawford of Canmore, Alta., led the way with a 12th-place finish. Daria Gaiazova of Banff, Alta., didn't make it past the opening round and wound up 23rd.