In Planica, Slovenia, Canada claimed its second gold medal at the world under-23 cross-country ski championships with a victory in the mixed relay. The team, consisting of Derek Deuling, Jasmine Drolet, Mac Hollman, and Lilian Gagnon, celebrated their win over runner-up France and Sweden, who took the bronze medal.
Derek Deuling from Whitehorse and Lilian Gagnon from Quebec City led Canada’s charge in heavy rain on Sunday during the 20k relay. After ranking sixth after the first two legs, Hollman closed a 15-second gap on the front-runners to just 2.2 seconds when he handed off to Gagnon for the anchor leg.
Gagnon made her move over the final 150 metres in a sprint to the line. Canada edged France by seven-tenths of a second and Sweden by eight-tenths to take home gold. Sonjaa Schmidt of Whitehorse became the first Canadian to win gold at the world under-23 championships Tuesday in the women’s sprint. This second gold medal win comes after Schmidt’s victory earlier in the week. Gagnon, Schmidt and the rest of the Canadian team continue to showcase their skill and determination on the world stage, solidifying their presence as a force to be reckoned with in international cross-country ski competitions.