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Cross Country skiers wrap up World Cup comp

Published 30 January 2018 (AEDT)

Barbara Jezersek compete during the Kangaroo Hoppet Cross Country Ski Race. © Getty Images

CROSS COUNTRY: The final cross country skiing World Cup event prior to the PyeongChang 2018 Games is in the books after the world’s best competed in Seefeld, Austria, over the weekend.

Four of Australia’s six Winter Olympic bound athletes were in action with Phil Bellingham, Callum Watson, Jess Yeaton and Barbara Jezersek all wearing the green and gold.

The two-day event featured sprint competitions on Saturday followed by mass start events on Sunday.

Needing to make the top 30 to progress to the final, Yeaton was only just over three seconds off the final spot in the quarter-finals.

Bellingham claimed 49th, 3.53 seconds out of the finals, while Watson finished in 68th.

The women’s event was won by Sophie Caldwell of the USA while the men’s event was taken out by the world’s leading sprinter in Johannes Klaebo of Norway.

In the women’s 10km mass start free Jezersek was in 50th with Yeaton in 66th as the USA’s Jessica Diggins claimed the victory.

In the men’s 15km mass start free Watson was in 72nd with Bellingham back in 84th with Dario Cologna of Switzerland winning the gold medal. 

The athletes will now finalise their preparations for the biggest event of them all – the Winter Olympic Games.

The four athletes that competed in Seefeld will be joined by Aimee Watson and Casey Wright to make Australia’s largest ever cross country skiing team to compete at a Winter Olympic Games. 

Matt Bartolo

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