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Top 50 for Aussie women in Skiathlon

10 February 2018

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: Australia’s Barbara Jezersek and Jess Yeaton have finished in the top 50 in the women’s Skiathlon at Alpensia Cross Country Centre.

In what was the first medal event of PyeongChang 2018, Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla took the gold medal in under 41 minutes, ahead of Norway’s Marit Bjoergen (+7.8 seconds) and Krista Pamakoski of Finland (+10.01 seconds)

https://twitter.com/AUSOlympicTeam/status/962234849560993793

Jezersek, at her third Games but first for Australia, claimed 39th with a time of 44:39.3 (+3:54.4).

Olympic debutant Yeaton was just behind in 50th, +4:59.9 off the pace.

31-year-old Jezersek said she felt nervous heading into today’s opening cross country event as it “was my first race for my new country,” but was happy to have the first run under her belt.

“The Classic part was one of the hardest again… but when I finally got my energy back and when I changed to free skiing it was a different story and I felt myself again,” she said.

“But I am still happy with 39th. It’s not my best result but I still have plan B – the 10km [free ski] and 15km, so I am looking forward to those ones.”

https://twitter.com/AUSOlympicTeam/status/962235227341963265

26-year-old rookie Yeaton was “really happy” with her first Olympic hit out.

“It was good, better than I expected,” she said.

“The classic was a little easier which was great for me, and our skis were really good, so the team did a great job with that. Then I switched to skating [free technique] and I kept skiing where I was.

“I was really hoping for that [top 50]. I was ranked 59th and I was worried I would end up closer to the back then that, so I was really happy to get a couple of people in front of me at least."

Featuring 7.5km in the Classic style before a transition to change to Freestyle skis and another 7.5km, Jezersek was in 41st at the exchange and Yeaton 51st.

Australia’s Cross Country Team is back in action tomorrow when Sochi 2014 Olympian Callum Watson takes to the men's 15km + 15km Skiathlon.

Matt Bartolo
olympics.com.au

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