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Four Medals in Two Days

Heidi Weng helped Norway to gold in the team sprint on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus
Krista Parmakoski (FIN) won the silver medal in the 15km skiathlon at the 2017 FIS Nordic World Championships in Lahti (FIN). Photo: Nordic Focus

Krista Parmakoski (FIN) won the silver medal in the 15km skiathlon at the 2017 FIS Nordic World Championships in Lahti (FIN). Photo: Nordic Focus

The 2017 FIS World Championships are on, and so are the Madshus racers.

On Saturday, Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) earned the silver medal in the women’s 15km skiathlon on home turf in Lahti (FIN).

“It was such a great feeling that …. aaaaaaaaah… everything was so good. The uphills were less steep than yesterday. Everything was so easy,” Pärmäkoski said to reporters after the race.

On Sunday, Heidi Weng helped Norway to victory in the team relay. Weng, who skied the first leg for the team, nearly cried as she watched her teammate Maiken Caspersen Falla pull in to the gold medal with a solid gap to Russia in second place.

“I have always dreamt about racing the team sprint, and being able to do that with the reigning World Champion and win the gold was amazing,” Weng said after the race, admitting that she was quite nervous about the event as well.

“You never know what happens in a relay, and I was afraid that I would mess it up for Maiken, but fortunately, it all went well. I skied better as the race progressed, and I was able to calm down a bit. There was a lot of chaos at the beginning, so I decided it was better to sit in the front of the pack and relax,” Weng said.

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Heidi Weng helped Norway to gold in the team sprint on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng helped Norway to gold in the team sprint on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Later on Sunday, Magnus Moan and Magnus Krog helped Norway to silver in the Nordic Combined team competition. With this medal, veteran Moan made history: He is the first Nrodic Combined athlete to earn a medal at seven different FIS World Championships.

“I am extra proud that I earned this medal in the team competition. My team means a lot to me. Without them, and the support of my family, none of this would be possible,” Moan said after the team competition.

The 2017 FIS World Championships in Lahti continue on Tuesday, with the women’s 10km classic event.

Cross-country
February 28: 10km classic women
March 1: 15km classic men
March 2: relay women (4x5km)
March 3: relay men (4×7.5km)
March 4: 30km skate women
March 5: 50km skate men

Nordic combined
March 1: LH130/10km
March 3: Team sprint LH130/2×7.5km

Dominated the WC Podiums

Ole Einar Bjørndalen at the World Cup weekend in Pokljuka (SLO) with a second place in the sprint on Thursday. Photo: Nordic Focus
Ole Einar Bjørndalen opened the World Cup weekend in Pokljuka (SLO) with a second place in the sprint on Thursday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjørndalen opened the World Cup weekend in Pokljuka (SLO) with a second place in the sprint on Thursday. Photo: Nordic Focus

The last World Cup weekend before the holidays yielded no less than 11 podium finishes for the Madshus racers.

The biathletes were first out, opening the World Cup weekend in Pokljuka (SLO) with the men’s 10km sprint on Thursday night: Ole Einar Bjørndalen (NOR) wasted no time, and went straight to the podium with an impressive second place finish.

His best performance in a long time,” said expert commentator Ola Lunde of the veteran after the race.

On Sunday, Bjørndalen snagged his second podium for the weekend, finishing third in the mass start, behind teammate Emil Hegle Svendsen (NOR). Super-Svendsen was just a hair from the victory in the mass start after delivering a smoking second half of the race.

The next round in the IBU World Cup is January 8-10, 2016, in Nove Mesto (CZE).

Complete results from the IBU World Cup in Pokljuka 

For the Nordic combined crew, the Norwegian Madshus racers dominated Saturday’s competition in Ramsau (AUT), claiming all the podium spots: Magnus Moan (NOR) won, while Magnus Krog (NOR) was second and reigning Norwegian national champion Jarl Riiber was third. On Sunday, Riiber, who is a rookie on the senior World Cup circuit this season, was back on the podium for the second day in a row, with a strong second place.

The Nordic Combined World Cup takes a break over the holidays and starts up in 2016 with two competitions in Klingethal (GER) on January 2-3.

Complete results from the FIS Nordic Combined World Cup 

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Jarl Riiber (NOR) was third in the Nordic Combined World Cup in Ramsau (AUT) on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Jarl Riiber (NOR) was third in the Nordic Combined World Cup in Ramsau (AUT) on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

The FIS cross-country World Cup moved to Toblach, Italy, for the last round of races before the 2016 Tour de Ski. On Saturday, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg posted another second place in the skate sprint. On Sunday, she was back on the podium again with a third place in the 10-kilometer classic race, just behind fellow Madshus racer Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN), who posted her first World Cup podium for the season.

“I am so excited to be on the podium. I have been waiting for this moment since the beginning of the season. I knew the energy and fitness was there, but until today I haven’t been able to show that in my results. The whole Finnish team was amazing today,” Pärmäkoski said after her race.

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Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) earned her first podium finish for the season on Sunday, with second place in the 10km classic at the World Cup in Toblach (ITA). Photo: Nordic Focus

Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) earned her first podium finish for the season on Sunday, with second place in the 10km classic at the World Cup in Toblach (ITA). Photo: Nordic Focus

Østberg, who has established her self as a solid distance racer this season as well as one of the best sprinters in the world, was equally excited about her third place.

“It was very tight, and great battle between me, Krista and Heidi (Weng). I lost a lot at the end of the race but I am really satisfied with third place. The season has been so great for me. I nearly cannot believe it. I’m so happy that things have worked so well for me,” said Østberg.

Also on Sunday, Alexander Bessmertnykh (RUS) skied into an impressive second place in the men’s 15-kilometer classic in Toblach.

“It is great to be back on the podium again,” said Bessmertnykh, who chose to ski with kick wax,.

While about half of the racers chose to go without on the challenging course, The Russian did not regret his decision.

“I had a very good race, and it was a good choice to go with kick wax. I had amazing skis. Our service team did a great job,” Bessmertnykh said.

The FIS World Cup resumes on January 1 with the first event of the 10-day stage race Tour de Ski, where sprint races in Lenzerheide (SUI) are the first races.

Complete results from the FIS Cross-country World Cup 

Party Time at the Nationals

Magnus Moan won his 6th Kongepokal at the Norwegian Nordic Combined Nationals this weekend. Photo: NSF

Madshus racers cleaned up at the Norwegian national championships this weekend.

Magnus Moan hauled home two gold medals and KONGEPOKAL (“The King’s Cup”-awarded at only one national championships event in each sport each year) at the Nordic Combined National Championships. This was Moan’s 6th Kongepokal in his career.

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Magnus Moan won his 6th Kongepokal at the Norwegian Nordic Combined Nationals this weekend. Photo: NSF

Magnus Moan won his 6th Kongepokal at the Norwegian Nordic Combined Nationals this weekend. Photo: NSF

At the Norwegian national championships in biathlon, Marte Olsbu opened the championships with bronze medal the women’s 15km normal competition on Wednesday, behind fellow Madshus biathlete Sigrid Bilstad Neraasen who won the silver medal. Then Olsbu proceeded to collected a gold medal and KONGEPOKAL in the sprint on Friday, and won the pursuit on Saturday.

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Marte Olsbu won the sprint at the Norwegian Nationals on Friday, including Kongepokal. Photo: NSSF

Marte Olsbu won the sprint at the Norwegian Nationals on Friday, including Kongepokal. Photo: NSSF

Emil Hegle “Super-Svendsen” anchored his regional team Sør-Trøndelag SSK to GOLD at the Norwegian national biathlon championships on Sunday – his first relay gold at the national championships. Svendsen arrived at the championships in Sirdal a couple of days late due to snow problems causing cancellations at the Oslo airport. Also, Madshus racer Eirik Bratli won the gold in the men’s normal competition on Wednesday.

Complete results all events in Sirdal

At the Norwegian cross-country national championships this weekend, Heidi Weng capped her season with three medals – two gold and one silver.

On Thursday, she helped her club to gold in the sprint relay at the Norwegian National Championships. On Friday, she picked up a silver medal in the 5km classic at nationals, and on Saturday, she won the 30k classic by almost 5 minutes.

“It was a good day for me. I felt like I could just keep going,” Weng said to Norwegian TV reporters after her race, adding that she felt like she skied the interval-start event strategically well.

“I felt really strong today, especially for the first 15 kilometers. On the second lap, I was really tired, but I didn’t get super stiff,” Weng said.

Weng finished the 30 kilometers in 1 hour 29 minutes and 54.9 seconds. The next competitor finished in 1:34:43.6.

The 23-year-old has had yet another major international breakthrough season, establishing herself firmly on the podium both in regular World Cup distance events as well as in the Tour de Ski and the World Cup mini-tours. Weng also beat the queen of cross-country skiing, Marit Bjoergen, both in sprint and distance events this season, which marks another first for the talented Norwegian.

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Heidi Weng is greeted by her teammate after securing the gold medal in the team sprint at the Norwegian nationals on Thursday. Photo: NM 2015 Harstad

Heidi Weng is greeted by her teammate after securing the gold medal in the team sprint at the Norwegian nationals on Thursday. Photo: NM 2015 Harstad

Following the 30km classic event on Saturday, Weng was named the queen of the Norwegian national championships – an award given to the racer with the lowest combined rank after completing all five individual events for 2015 (3 events at Roeros in January and 2 events in Harstad in March). Weng had a combined score of 11 after 2 times 1st place, 2 times 2nd place, and one 4th place. The next racer had a combined score of 31.

Also at the national championships this weekend, Didrik Toenseth helped himself to two silver medals.

First, Toenseth was second at the men’s 10km individual start classic on Friday, and then he earned another silver medal at the 50km classic on Saturday. Fellow Madshus racer Hans Christer Holund was third in the 50km.

Complete results all events at the 2015 National Championships Harstad

My Best Race Ever

Magnus Moan (NOR) at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Oslo last week. Photo: Nordic Focus

Magnus Moan (NOR) at the Nordic Combined World Cup in Oslo last week. Photo: Nordic Focus

Magnus Moan bagged his 24th World Cup victory in front of a huge home crowd in Granaasen, after a race where everything worked from start to finish.

 

“My biggest advantage was that there were thousands of spectators cheering my name along the course. That gave me a lot of energy. The conditions were good for me and my skis were simply magic,” the Nordic Combined veteran Moan said to Norwegian TV reporters after his race.

 

At the biathlon World Championships, Emil Hegle “Super-Svendsen” (NOR) brought home a pair of medals to the collection. After a rocky start in Finland, Svendsen earned the silver medal in the men’s 20km individual competition on Thursday. Then he anchored Norway to silver in the relay on Saturday.

 

But Svendsen is not entirely content. He is already thinking about the 2016 World Championships, which will take place on home turf in Oslo. And he promises to be back for more.

 

“I was already thinking about Oslo 2016 as soon as I crossed the line. I will be back then, as a stronger biathlete. A little bit of struggle motivates me,” Svendsen said to reporters in Finland.

 

On Saturday night, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen earned his 40th World Championship medal when he helped Norway to silver in the men’s 4×7.5km relay at the IBU World Championships in Kontiolahti (FIN). Bjoerndalen raced the first leg in the relay and exchanged in first place, while Svendsen secured the silver medal with a solid anchor leg, as mentioned above. In the men’s 15km mass start, Bjoerndalen ended up in fourth place, despite shooting entirely clean.

 

Furthermore, Madshus biathlete Anaïs Bescond (FRA) also bagged a pair of silver medals at the World Championships in Finland this week. She helped France to second place in both the mixed relay and the women’s 4x6km relay.

 

Complete results from the IBU World Championships

 

And finally, on Wednesday, cross-country skier Heidi Weng (NOR) capped her season with yet another World Cup podium posting a second place in the sprint in Drammen (NOR), and finally beating Marit Bjoergen in a true sprint race.

 

Weng, who is fully established as one of the best skiers in the world, has been on the World Cup podium no less than 15 times this season, including Tour de Ski and mini-tour stages.

 

Perfect Race for Moan at World Cup Opener

Magnus Moan (NOR) delivered a much-needed victory in the Nordic Combined World Cup Opener on Saturday. Much-needed because the Madshus racer has worked through two rough seasons, and he was finally rewarded for his hard work and commitment.

“It means the world to me to be standing here again as the winner. I’ve had two hard seasons with illness and injuries,” Moan said after the race in Lillehammer Saturday. Moan was eighth after the jumping competition, but managed to outsprint Jason Lamy-Chappuis (FRA) to the finish line.

“This is huge for me. I’m back at 100 percent now,” said Moan, who has removed his tonsils, and also had surgery on his Achilles prior to this season.

Magnus Moan let the joy out after the World Cup opener at Lillehammer November 24. Photo: Laiho/Nordic Focus

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