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Canada’s Crawford and Jones Comment on Winning Historic Team Sprint Bronze in Milan


January 16, 2012 (Milan, Italy) – Canada’s Perianne Jones and Chandra Crawford won bronze in the women’s 6×1.4km team sprint FIS WCup in Milan on Sunday – their first-ever medal together and Jones’ first time on the WCup podium.

The moment was made even more special by the fact that Jones and Crawford had the honour of sharing the limelight with their American friends, Jessie Diggins and Kikkan Randall, who grabbed the silver medal – a North American first.

But their medal was not a given however, as a crash in the semis by Jones put their spot in the finals in jeopardy. Ten teams of two skiers made it to the final, including the Canuck duo, who worked efficiently together in their exchanges and skied excellently to earn their podium spot.

“This feels great. Today our whole goal was to relax, stay on our feet and kick when it counts,” said 28-year-old Crawford. “It is dynamite to be on the podium with Peri. We are a real team out here and want each other to succeed and it is awesome to share this with her.”

Last season in Dusseldorf Crawford landed on the podium in the team sprint with teammate Daria Gaiazova taking home the bronze. In Saturday’s individual sprint Crawford was 7th and her bronze in Milan on Sunday was her second WCup medal this season, after she won silver in the individual freestyle sprint in Rogla, Slovenia in December.

Jones was 12th in the individual sprint matching her career-best finish on the World Cup earned in Stockholm, Sweden last season. Her first visit to a WCup podium is a dream come true for the Almonte, Ont. skier and SkiTrax caught up with Jones after the team sprint event:

You lead off today – how was the start?
Perianne Jones: The first lap was totally crazy, I crashed in our semi-final, so I was just trying to stay out of trouble and read the rest of the people around me to make sure that didn’t happen again. There were lots of broken poles, and crashing everywhere, but we stayed out of trouble.

Is this is your first Team Sprint with Chandra – what kind of prep did you do?
PJ: Chandra and I have teamed up a few times in Dusseldorf, so this wasn’t our first time racing together, but we just practiced our tags a few times, and chatted briefly, but we have total confidence in each other after training so many hours side by side, so we didn’t talk much just went out and did our thing.

How were your skis today and conditions on the track?
PJ: Skis were amazing today, our techs are the best. The track held up really well too, so it was super fast.

Talk about the congestion on the Milan course and your exchanges.
PJ: We totally nailed the exchanges today, in the semifinal we figured out what worked, and we stayed with it through the final, and were always making up places in the exchanges.

You’ve been making steady solid gains with your skiing – what are you doing differently?
PJ: Nothing drastically different, just building on the fitness I have and being able to handle more training.

This is your first-ever WCup podium – how special is it for you?
PJ: It feels pretty great to hit the podium, it’s been a goal for a long time, and it’s also great to share it with Chandra. We have been teammates for a long time, since we were juniors…and being up there with Kikkan and Jessie was a real bonus.

All the best Peri – we are really proud of you guys.
PJ: Thanks!