On Sunday, Canada claimed a second gold medal at the world under-23 cross-country ski championships in Planica, Slovenia. The team of Derek Deuling from Whitehorse, Jasmine Drolet from Rossland, B.C., Mac Hollman of Thunder Bay, Ont., and Lilian Gagnon from Quebec City won the mixed relay race over France and Sweden in heavy rain.
On Tuesday, Sonjaa Schmidt from Whitehorse became the first Canadian to win gold at the world under-23 championships in the women’s sprint. The Canadians were ranked sixth after the first two legs of Sunday’s 20k relay but managed to close a 15-second gap on France and Sweden to just 2.2 seconds when Hollman passed off to Gagnon for the anchor leg. In an impressive finish, Gagnon closed the remaining gap over the final 150 meters with a sprint to the line.
The Canadians edged France by just seven-tenths of a second and beat Sweden by just eight-tenths of a second. “I’ve been wanting one of these for a while,” said Gagnon after her win, adding that she was grateful for her teammates’ support throughout their successful run.