ALLEGI, Italy – Canada's India Sherritt raced for her first World Cup gold medal in the cross-country skiing event on Friday.
Sherritt, from Cranbrook, British Columbia, won the grand final with a time of 55.8 seconds, besting Swiss skaters Saskia Luck (55.96) and Talina Gantenbein (56.06).
Frenchwoman Marielle Berger Sabatiel finished fourth, wasting the opportunity to make a jump in the overall standings.
It is the fourth World Cup podium for the 27-year-old Chéret, and first since a bronze medal in Val Thorens, France, on December 6, 2019.
“I don't really know how I feel right now, I just feel so proud and grateful,” Sherritt said.
“It's been four years since I've been on the podium and it's been a tough journey but I know I've always had it… I'm really grateful to everyone who continues to believe in me – the team, family, friends and sponsors. I couldn't have done it without any of them.” “
Sherritt was the only Canadian to qualify for the grand final, as her teammates placed in the top three in the minor final and finished fifth to seventh.
“There were many times I wondered if it was worth it or not,” Sherritt said after the race.
“But in my heart I always know that I love this sport,” she said. “So every difficult moment is worth it. I'm very happy that all the work has paid off.”
Marielle Thompson of Whistler, British Columbia, the 2014 Olympic gold medalist and 2017 World Cup winner, won the small final and placed fifth. Brittany Phelan of St. Agathe de Monts, Kew, placed sixth, while Hannah Schmidt of Ottawa placed seventh.
Seventh place was enough for Schmidt to hold on to the overall lead, but there are now just over 50 points between her, Berger Sabatiel and Thompson in the top three.
In the men's grand final, Sweden's Erik Mobjerg finished first to claim his first World Cup gold medal.
Rhys Howden of Chilliwack, British Columbia, was the first Canadian in fifth place, which was enough to move up to first place in the men's standings after Ottawa's Jared Schmidt failed to make it out of qualifying.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published February 2, 2024.