February 27, 2013
Ivan Babikov skis to best finish
By QMI Agency

Ivan Babikov of Canada skis during the Cross Country men's 15km Individual Free Technique competition at the Nordic Ski World Championships in the northern mountain resort of Tesero in Val di Fiemme February 27, 2013. (REUTERS/Yves Herman)

Canada’s Ivan Babikov raced to an historic fourth-place finish at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme, Italy on Wednesday.

Babikov, 32, of Canmore, Alta., posted the best-ever result by a Canadian in the men’s 15k individual start skate-ski race after clocking a time of 35 minutes 30.7 seconds.

“It isn’t a medal, but I’m pretty happy for sure,” Babikov said.

"Our team worked amazingly well today. My skis were awesome, and it was really important for my confidence to have this race today.”

Norway’s Petter Northug collapsed at the finish line, winning gold in a time of 34:37.10. Sweden’s Johan Olsson was second at 34:48.9, while Norway’s Tord Asle Gjerdalen skied to a bronze medal with a time of 34:59.4.

Canada’s Devon Kershaw, of Sudbury, Ont., placed 33rd at 37:31.1, while Graham Nishikawa, of Whitehorse, Yukon, finished 39th (37:40.7).