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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

Waited a Year for First

Emil Hegle Svendsen (left) and Ole Einar Bjørndalen (far right) helped Norway to victory at the IBU relay in Ruhpolding (GER) on Friday, the 1st relay victory for the team in a year. Photo: Nordic Focus
Emil Hegle Svendsen (left) and Ole Einar Bjørndalen (far right) helped Norway to victory at the IBU relay in Ruhpolding (GER) on Friday, the 1st relay victory for the team in a year. Photo: Nordic Focus

Emil Hegle Svendsen (left) and Ole Einar Bjørndalen (far right) helped Norway to victory at the IBU relay in Ruhpolding (GER) on Friday, the 1st relay victory for the team in a year. Photo: Nordic Focus

Ole Einar Bjørndalen opened the relay for Norway, while Emil Hegle Svendsen anchored the team to victory at the IBU World Cup relay in Rupholding (GER).

It’s been a full year since the Norwegian men last won a World Cup relay, and with less than two months to go until the World Championships on home turf in Holmenkollen (NOR) in March, the victory was a much needed confidence-builder for the team.

The team performance on Friday also reestablished Norway as a clear favorite to win the relay gold at the World Championships in Oslo. Ole Einar Bjørndalen skied the first leg for Norway, while Emil Hegle Svendsen skied the final leg of the relay and secured the victory.

“We like the pressure. We like being favorites. And when we can win despite shooting as poorly as we did today, we are favorites,” Ole Einar Bjørndalen said to Aftenposten reporters after the race.

On Sunday, Miriam Gössner (photo) helped Germany to second place in the biathlon relay on home turf in Rupholding (GER).

Complete results from the IBU World Cup in Rupholding 

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Miriam Gössner helped Germany to 2nd place in the World Cup relay on home turf in Ruhpolding, (GER) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Miriam Gössner helped Germany to 2nd place in the World Cup relay on home turf in Ruhpolding, (GER) on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

The FIS cross-country World Cup featured an individual sprint in Planica (SLO) on Saturday and a team sprint the next day, both skate. On Saturday, Heidi Weng cruised into third place in the women’s sprint, less than a week after finishing third overall in the 2016 Tour de Ski. Given the toll of the eight races in ten days, and the features of the course in Planica, Weng was almost surprised to be on the podium this weekend as well as outsprinting Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) in a mad dash for the finish line.

“I am still surprised with third today. I thought Ingvild beat me in the finish. I still felt tired after the Tour de Ski but it got better during the day. I like the course here in Planica,” Weng said after her race on Saturday.

On Sunday, Weng kept it up and helped Norway to second place in the team sprint, while fellow Madshus racer Hanna Kolb helped Germany to third place.

Complete results from the FIS World Cup in Planica 

Heidi Weng skied into 3rd place in the World Cup skate sprint in Planica (SLO) on Saturday. Photo: Nordic Focus

Heidi Weng skied into 3rd place in the World Cup skate sprint in Planica (SLO) on Saturday. On Sunday, she helped Norway to 2nd place in the team sprint. Photo: Nordic Focus

Gold and Hardware in Falun

 

Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg skied the first leg for Norway and was out in front from the very start in the team sprint at the 2015 FIS World Championships in Falun Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

 

Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg dominated the cross-country team sprint and helped Norway to gold at the 2015 FIS World Championships. But there were plenty of highlights across the board this weekend.

 

Ingvild Flugstad Oesteberg (NOR) has dominated the sprints and the short distances ever since the World Cup started in November. She earned a gold medal in the team sprint and a silver medal in the individual sprint at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Sunday, she was back for more, helping Norway to the gold in Falun by a huge margin.

 

Oestberg went out determined on her first lap. She increased the gap on her second lap, and on her final lap, she appeared to gain a second on each pole plant. Norway won by almost 10 seconds in a sprint, where the teams usually are separated by fractions of a second.

 

“This means a lot to me. I have known Maiken (Caspersen Falla) for so long, we have pushed each other for years, making each other better. So winning this medal WITH her if huge,” Oestberg said after her race.

 

Oh So Close!
Championship rookie Didrik Toenseth (NOR) was looking at a podium finish in his very first FIS Nordic World Championships event, the 30km duathlon on Saturday. Now he’s looking at more pushups.

 

“I was leading for about half of the race, and thinking that ‘this is it.’ I’m going to nail it today,” Toenseth said about the first half of the race. But then about halfway through, Toenseth hit the wall.

 

“In the middle of the race, I was just thinking that I needed to just finish and go home and work on pushups,” Toenseth said.

 

But he fought his way back and with just a couple of kilometers to go, he was in the top three. Toenseth kept his position until the final stretch to the finish line, and barely missed the podium in the last five meters. He collapsed across the finish line. In a very impressive fourth place.

 

Read more about Toenseth’s race

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Didrik Toenseth (NOR) was 4th in the 30km duathlon on Saturday, narrowly missing the podium. Photo: Nordic Focus

 

The gold that slipped away
Toenseth wasn’t the only case of “Oh So Close” this weekend. Magnus Moan and his Norwegian teammates were chasing the gold in the Nordic Combined team competition Sunday afternoon.

 

Norway was fifth after the jumping competition, and ended up taking home the silver medal, 23 seconds shy of the gold.

 

“We take home a medal. Right now we are just a little bit disappointed, but we’ll brush that off and look ahead,” Moan said after the race.

 

Moan skied the first leg for Norway, started 28 seconds behind Germany in first place, and sent his teammate out only 4.4 seconds behind Germany.

 

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Magnus Moan helped Norway to silver in the Nordic Combined team competition on Sunday. Photo: Nordic Focus

 

Chasing a medal
Heidi Weng
(NOR) is not entirely satisfied with the start of the championships, and seventh place in the women’s 15km duathlon (7.5km classic +7.5km skate) on Saturday was short of her own expectations.

 

“My body just wasn’t there. The classic portion of the race was really tough, and it’s almost never hard for me to ski classic. Then after we switched to skating, I wasn’t even really racing. I just wanted to get to the finish,” Weng said after her race, admitting that she had higher expectations for the World Championships.

 

“I had a really races in Tour de Ski. I thought I would have even better races now. But it didn’t turn out like that,” said Weng.

 

Tuesday, she has another shot at a medal in the women’s 10km skate, one of her favorite events.

 

Schedule for the rest of the 2015 FIS World Championships in Falun (SWE)
All times are Central European Time (CET)
Cross-Country
Feb 24: 10km freestyle women, at 1:30pm
Feb 25: 15km freestyle men, at 1:30pm
Feb 26: Relay women (4x5km), at 1:30pm
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

Nordic Combined
Feb 26: Gundersen Large Hill/10km, jumping at 10am, XC at 3:15pm
Feb 28: Team Sprint Large Hill/2×7.5km, jumping at 10am, XC at 4pm

More about the 2015 FIS Nordic World Championships

 

 

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