Heidi Weng with her relay gold medal. Photo: Nordic Focus
Gold and bronze in the women’s 4x5km relay on Thursday – after a bronze medal in the 10km skate on Tuesday, and still three days to go!
The first week of the 2015 FIS World Championships in Falun (SWE) resulted in gold and silver medals in the cross-country team sprint and the Nordic Combined.
Read more: Gold and hardware in Falun
The second week of the Championships opened with Caitlin Gregg (USA) polishing off the 10-kilometer skate course in 25:55.7 and earning a bronze medal for the United States in the tough conditions Tuesday.
Gregg was barely seven seconds behind her teammate Jessie Diggins in second place, and with their medals, Gregg and Diggins wrote history for the US Ski Team: They are the first U.S. women to earn individual World Championship medals in a distance (non-sprint) event.
Asked by reporters whether she had believed she would be on the podium today, Gregg said: “We knew we had it in us. We have been working for this for quite some time. You just never know when it’s going to happen. Now we have done it once, we will do it again.”
(Charlotte Kalla of Sweden won the 10km skate race on home turf in front of a ballistic home crowd.)
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Caitlin Gregg (USA) after her bronze medal 10k skate race. Photo: Peter Blom
On Thursday, Heidi Weng raced the first leg for Norway in the women’s relay, leaving her teammates in an excellent position to win the event.
Weng struggled in the 10km skate on Tuesday, which is typically one of her top events, and accordingly, the relay victory on Thursday provided a sweet revenge.
“This victory is huge for us as a team. I was so nervous I was shaking all morning and even through my race,” Weng said after the race.
“Now I’m just so happy. We really deserved this,” she added.
Her teammate and veteran champion Marit Bjoergen, who skied the anchor leg for Norway, said Weng was overripe to perform.
“Heidi was bursting at the seams. We had to calm her down a bit before the start. She had so much power to put out there,” Bjoergen said with a laugh.
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Heidi Weng at the relay on Thursday. Photo: Nordic Focus
On tap for the final days of the World Championships are three cross-country events: the men’s 4×7.5km relay on Friday, the women’s 30km classic mass start on Saturday and the men’s 50km classic mass start on Sunday, as well as the large hill team sprint for Nordic Combined on Saturday.
For the women’s 30km classic on Saturday, Madshus racer Kristin Stoermer Steira (NOR) will be joining her teammates for her first event at the Falun World Championships.
Program Cross-country (all times are Central European Time)
Feb 27: Relay men (4×7.5km), at 1:30pm
Feb 28: 30km Classic mass start women, at 1pm
March 1: 50km Classic mass start men, at 1:30pm
Program Nordic Combined (Central European Time)
Feb 28: Team Sprint Large Hill/2×7.5km, jumping at 10am, XC at 4pm
More about the 2015 FIS Nordic World Championships