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Parry Sound’s Graham Ritchie fights back to finish fifth in team sprint race at Winter Olympics

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It was another close call for Parry Sound’s Graham Ritchie at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. 

The 23-year-old and his teammate Antoine Cyr finished fifth in the men’s team sprint class cross-country ski race. 

Nordiq Canada says in a statement it is the best team sprint result in the classic-skiing discipline at the Olympics.

The race sees the teammates each do three laps of 1.5-kilometre course. Cyr was in second place after the first lap, but Ritchie fell to ninth by the end of lap two. His teammate was able to recover and get back to fifth place and the two of them were able to keep ahold of that spot for the final three laps. 

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Ritchie’s best lap was his second. He finished in 3:11.7, which was the fourth-best amongst the nine other teams.

The pair finished seven seconds behind fourth-place Sweden. Norway, Finland, and the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) ran away with the gold, silver and bronze medals. The third-place ROC team finished 11 seconds ahead of the Swedes. 

“Super proud of this crew so far at our first Olympics,” Ritchie wrote on social media over the weekend. “Thanks to everyone for tuning in and following along.”

It was the third race of the games for Ritchie and his best finish. He, along with his four teammates, finished 11th in the 4 x 10-kilometre cross-country ski relay event Sunday and he finished 34th in the quarterfinals of the men’s cross country skiing sprint free last week.

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