Canada’s Bennett Captures Gold at FIS Ski Cross Junior World Championships
Calgary, Alta. (March 26, 2023) — Emeline Bennett (North Vancouver, BC) raced to gold today at the FIS Ski Cross Junior World Championships in Passo San Pellegrino, Italy. This is Bennett’s second junior worlds appearance and her first junior world championships podium.
With the sun breaking through the clouds in the Italian Dolomites, Bennett won her quarterfinals and then battled to second in the semifinals before winning the finals to capture the gold medal.
“This feels like a culmination of a lot of hard work,” said a smiling Bennett. “We did a lot of video work yesterday plus we had the opportunity to do two training runs today so that really helped me dial in my plan. I tried to ski more tactically instead of just going fast, and winning the quarterfinals helped set the tone for the day. I tried to treat the finals as just another heat to take some of the pressure off and everything just kind of went right today.”
“Emeline did a great job racing today and she really stuck to the plan,” said Adam Bourns, Head Coach Ski Cross Junior World Championships. “She was struggling with her starts so we talked about being patient at the top, and then really turning it on at the middle rollers. The team is so happy for her, and this win reinforces the hard work that everyone has put in this season.”
On the men’s side, Konnor Kimbal (Edmonton, AB) won the small finals to finish fifth and Nicholas Katrusiak (Whistler, BC) finished in ninth. Charlie Lang (Calgary, AB) and Jack Morrow (Whistler, BC) didn’t advance from the 1/8
“Super stocked to win the small finals,” said Kimbal. “I’ve had a couple of podiums this season, but nothing like this. The racing was tough today, through qualifying and the heats, I was happy to keep advancing. I started to feel the pressure in the semis and my teammates really helped. It’s great to have a team around you to help calm you down. This result means everything, it makes all the training and gym sessions worth it.”
“The team did fantastic today,” said a pleased Bourns. “This course is very challenging, you need to be consistent top to bottom and to be smart with your drafts and passes. There were a lot of personal bests today and of course Emeline winning gold is amazing.”
Current national team members who have won gold at Junior Worlds include Zoe Chore (Cranbrook, BC) 2019 in Reiteralm (AUT), India Sherett, (Cranbrook, BC) 2015 and Marielle Thompson (Whistler BC) 2013, who both won in Chiesa in Valmalenco (ITA).
The FIS Ski Cross Junior World Championships continue with the team event on Tuesday March 28. To see the full FIS Junior World Ski Championship schedule please click here.
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Alpine Canada is the governing body for alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross racing in Canada, as well as for Canadian ski coaches, providing education, certification, insurance, and compliance with the coaching code of conduct. With the support of valued corporate partners and donors, along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Coaching Association of Canada, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship, and World Cup athletes to stimulate visibility, inspiration, and growth in the ski community.