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Janyk leads Canadians into World Cup finals



Whistler skier fifth in GS

With one week to go before the World Cup finals in Lillehammer, Norway, the Canadian men’s and women’s teams made one final push. Since only the top-25 skiers in each discipline qualify for the finals, members of the technical teams had one more chance to improve their standings.

While the results didn’t drastically change the standings, the races in Are, Sweden, were an important milestone in the career of Whistler’s own Britt Janyk.

In the giant slalom on March 6, the 22-year-old Janyk finished a personal best fifth overall. More importantly, she posted the fastest first run of the day, finishing 0.33 seconds ahead of Sweden’s own Anja Paerson, one of the most dominant technical skiers on the World Cup circuit.

Janyk said she had no idea that her first run would put her at the top of the leader board, but she knew she was onto something.

"I felt that I was skiing well, and I could hear the commentator as I came down, the excitement in his voice, and I thought ‘okay, it’s a decent run’. When I got to the bottom and saw my time, I was blown away," said Janyk.

"I was doing anything different, it’s so far into the season, I just went out and raced. All along I knew I had it in me, but now I have the confidence to go out and do it. I had nothing to lose, and a good mental focus for that day."

Janyk hopes to carry that momentum into the World Cup finals. "I know I can do well, and I’m looking forward to it. After that I can relax a bit."

She dropped to fifth after starting last in the second run, but still finished just 0.67 seconds back of Paerson, who took the gold medal. The silver went to Daniela Marighetti of Italy, followed by teammate Denise Karbon.

Leading after the first and finishing so close to her first World Cup podium, Janyk has seen the light.

"I know the podium is in sight, and that I belong amongst the leaders. It won’t happen every day, but I’ll certainly strive for it with every run."

Although she had already qualified for the World Cup finals in the giant slalom, her result moved her up into 16 th place in the standings, and a better start position.

For Paerson, it was her fifth World Cup win of the season and her eighth podium result.

Genevieve Simard of Val-Morin, Quebec, was the only other Canadian to qualify for a second run, and finished the day in 27 th place.