Gareth Williams Solid in 11th at World Jr Championships »

Gareth Williams Solid in 11th at World Junior Championships

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SOLDIER HOLLOW, Utah—Canada’s Gareth Williams (Telemak Nordic Club) matched strides with the top junior skiers in the world during an 11th-place finish in the challenging 20-kilometre skiathlon race on Friday in Soldier Hollow, Utah. The 19-year-old Kelowna, B.C. product executed his race tactics to near perfection, clocking an 11th-place time of 51:04.5.

“A lot of the top guys were dropping to the back of the pack early to save energy so I followed their lead, and did the same in the classic portion of the race. I pushed it (the pace) as we got closer to the transition,” said Williams.

Athletes ski 10 kilometres of classic skiing followed by 10 more kilometres of skate skiing. They enter a transition zone to change equipment with the clock still running between the two legs.

“My transition was really smooth and much better for me than in training. I actually think I gained a couple of sports and then held my position in the top-10 for most of the skate leg. I just ran out of energy at the end, and lost out on the top-10 by one spot in the end. The skis were amazing today. The wax techs did an exceptional job making them super fast.”

Williams finished 84 seconds off the gold medal pace set by Russia’s Vladislav Vechkanov who clocked in at 49:40.5. Norway skied to the silver and bronze medals. Thomas Helland Larsen was second at 49:42.4, edging out his countryman Harald Oestberg Amundsen who settled for third at 49:42.7.