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Jezersek matches Australia's best ever Olympic result

15 February 2018

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: Barbara Jezersek has equalled Australia’s best ever result in an Olympic cross country skiing event having claimed 33rd in the women’s 10km Free at Alpensia.

Jezersek went out hard, hit her splits and looked strong through the back end to finish in 27:42.5 to come out with a result she has been striving for.

“It was really, really amazing,” Jezersek said.

“After having a really bad sleep and some mental struggles I’m really happy and for those that helped me get over that, this is a reward for them.”

The result sees Jezersek match Chris Heberle’s 33rd place finish in the 15km Classic event at the Calgary 1988 Games and beats the previous best by an Australian female which had been held by Colleen Bolton (35th - 10km Classic, Lake Placid Games 1980).

“Equaling the best result is a cherry on top of the cake," the triple Olympian said.

“I’m really overwhelmed with what I’ve overcome in the past four years and any moment like this I will cherish.”


Jess Yeaton was the next of the four Aussies across the line in what was also a strong result as she completed the course in 28:09.6 to place 41st.

“I’m really happy,” the Olympic debutant said.

“I was maybe hoping for top 50 and then I got splits saying that I was around the top 40 so that kept me going.

“The conditions were perfect out there. It was warm and usually when that happens the track breaks down a bit but it was a hard and fast track which was awesome.”

Competing at her second Games Aimee Watson finished in 68th.

“It was alright,” Watson said.

“That event was a bit more enjoyable than most Olympic events I’ve done. It’s one of the events I prefer and I just felt a bit fresher.”

Casey Wright completed her PyeongChang campaign with 81st.

“It was pretty hard, I’m not going to lie,” Wright said.

“I used what I had and finished the race and that’s about it for today.”

Norway’s Ragnhild Haga won the gold ahead of Charlotte Kalla of Sweden while the sport’s greatest ever female athlete in Marit Bjoergen, also from Norway, secured the bronze.

Phil Bellingham and Callum Watson are next up on the cross country course when they take on the men’s 15km Free tomorrow afternoon.

Matt Bartolo

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