Dasha Gaiazova controlled her Olympic destiny by completing a golden hat-trick at the Olympic Trials after winning each of the three women’s selection races. The Banff, Alta. resident won her third straight race on Sunday, the women’s Teck Sprint Series – which is a component of the Haywood NorAm Series.
“I guess that seals the deal,” said Gaiazova, who also won the 15-kilometre skate-ski race last week in British Columbia and Saturday’s Teck Sprint Series race in Canmore. “I think this course is made for me and I just skied extremely well all day. I am very happy.”
An alternate on the 2006 Canadian Olympic roster, Gaiazova has dominated the Haywood NorAm Series, North America’s premier race development series over the last two seasons. On Sunday, she stomped the field in the qualifier and in each of her three heats through the challenging 1.45-kilometre women’s course.
“I think I am in the best shape of my life and I couldn’t have picked a better time for that to happen,” said Gaiazova. “I really want to keep skiing well, and even better in February. I’m looking forward to representing all of Canada at the Games.”
The 25-year-old Gaiazova was joined on the women’s podium by Perianne Jones, of Almonte, Ont., who won the silver medal after returning from the World Cup circuit for the holiday break. Calgary’s Shayla Swanson locked up third spot in a fight to the finish line with Jones.
The final event in Cross Country Canada’s Olympic Trials takes place on Tuesday with the women’s and men’s 30- and 50-kilometre classic race.
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