March 19, 2012
Kershaw caps record-setting season with silver
By QMI Agency
Another day, another historic happening for Devon Kershaw.
The 29-year-old cross-country skier from Sudbury capped off his unprecedented season by winning the silver medal in the 15-kilometre skate-skiing pursuit race Sunday at the World Cup finals in Falun, Sweden.
Kershaw became the first Canadian to ever finish second overall on the World Cup circuit and finished the season with six medals, including a pair of golds.
"I crossed the line and thought 'Thank God, it is done,' but I was also so proud right away of our entire team," Kershaw said. "This last month I had a lot of nervous energy, but finishing second at the World Cup finals was another huge goal this year. That is about as good as it gets.
"To be second in the overall is crazy awesome and I'm just so proud and happy of what we accomplished as an entire team."
Dario Cologna of Switzerland, the overall World Cup champ, won the season-ending race in one hour, 32 minutes and 33.1 seconds. Kershaw crossed the line just over 23 seconds later while Niklas Dyrhaug of Norway was third in 1:33:13.6.
Alex Harvey of St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., finished sixth while Toronto's Len Valjas was 14th.
CUP RUNNETH OVER
Canada won the Freestyle Nations Cup after winning four medals in the World Cup moguls final Sunday in Megeve, France.
Justine Dufour-Lapointe of Montreal and her older sister Chloe gave Canada a gold-bronze finish in the women's event while Mikael Kingsbury of Deux-Montagnes, Que., and Marc-Antoine Gagnon of Terrebone, Que., finished second and third in the men's moguls.
Kingsbury won a medal in every World Cup event this season -- eight golds, four silvers and a bronze -- to take home the Crystal Globe (first place overall) for moguls. At 19 years old, he's the youngest moguls skier to win the Globe.
"I have to say that his performance this year has been monumental," Canadian Freestyle Ski Association CEO Peter Judge said. "You could dream that this kind of season long performance might be possible- and then you would wake up."
While Kingsbury ruled all season, this day belonged to the younger of the Dufour-Lapointe sisters, who won for the first time this season by edging out Miki Ito of Japan in the final.
"I'm really stoked that I finished with a gold medal this year, I can't be more happy about my season, also I finished the grand prix second in the world," she said. "It's been amazing this year. With Chloe it was so cool, we love each other so much and it was so great to share that with her."
JANYK 10TH IN FINALE
Mike Janyk of Whistler, B.C., closed out the World Cup season with a 10-place finish in the men's slalom final Sunday in Schladming, Austria.
Janyk was 13th after the first run but picked up three spots in the second by posting the second-fastest time of the run, finishing in a combined time of one minute, 34.41 seconds. He finished the season ranked 21st in the World Cup slalom standings.
"It was nice to enjoy racing again," Janyk said. "The approach, the attitude and the confidence on the skis were there. When I feel confident with my skis I know I can push it."
Andre Myhrer of Sweden won the gold medal in 1:32.47 while Feix Neureurther of Germany took the silver. Mario Matt of Austria rounded out the podium.
No Canadians raced in the women's giant slalom, won by Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany. Anna Fenninger of Austria and Federica Brignone of Italy finished second and third, respectively.
WALLIN GETS GIG
Jesse Wallin was named head coach of the Canadian under-18 team that will take part in the IIHF U18 World Championship next month in the Czech Republic.
Wallin, 34, is the coach and general manager of the WHL's Red Deer Rebels.
"Any opportunity to work with Hockey Canada is a special one, and as a staff we look forward to getting to the Czech Republic and getting to work," Wallin said. "We're excited to get the team on the ice and begin working towards a third world under-18 gold medal for Canada."
Former NHLers Todd Gill and Gordie Dwyer will serve as assistant coaches while Ron Tugnutt of Hockey Canada will act as goalie coach. Gill coaches the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL and Dwyer is coach of the P.E.I. Rocket of the QMJHL.
The U18 world championship tourney is slated for April 12-22 in Brno and Znojmo, Czech Republic.
SMITH FIFTH IN OPENER
Steve Smith of Cassidy, B.C., finished fifth in the ICU World Cup mountain bike downhill race Sunday in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Smith finished in four minutes, 2.364 seconds, more than four seconds behind winner Greg Minnaar of South Africa. Aaron Gwin of the U.S. was second while Michael Hannah of Australia was third.
No Canadians were entered in the women's race, which was won by Tracey Hannah of Australia.