Faces at the Races: Krista Lähteenmäki (FIN)

Krista Lähteenmäki (FIN) went straight into silver in the women’s team sprint at the 2011 World Championships in Oslo this week, and anchored Finland to an impressive bronze medal in the women’s relay on Thursday.

Getting off to a good start in the 2011 World Championships in Oslo, Lähteenmäki posted a strong fifth place in the 10K classic on Monday, and is just getting in the groove. But Lähteenmäki is hardly new to the podium.

The 20-year-old Finn has been considered a fresh breath and the future of Finnish cross-country skiing for years. She debuted on the World Cup already in the fall of 2008, only 17 years old, and has raced 14 more later. Lähteenmäki is the reigning U23 champion in the 10K skate from the U23 World Championships in Otepää, Estonia, in January.

Last season, Lähteenmäki raced at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. The past two seasons, she has won medals at the FIS Junior Nordic World Championships: She won the 5K classic and took a silver medal in the relay at the world juniors in Hinterzarten (GER) in 2010, and in 2009 she won the silver medal in the 10K pursuit at the world juniors in Praz de Lys (FRA).

This week, Lähteenmäki skied straight into fifth place in the women’s 10K classic interval start event at the 2011 World Championships in Oslo on Monday, and continued with the silver medal in the team sprint Wednesday.

Finnish sports reporters have followed the talented skier for years.

“We need young fast skiers. We are happy that Krista is coming up through the ranks and winning medals. It’s good for the sport in Finland,” they say.

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For complete information and race results from the 2011 World Championships in Oslo, please visit www.oslo2011.com.