On Track from the Start
Madshus athletes opened the World Cup season right where they left off last spring: On the podium.
Madshus racers went straight for the World Cup podium on the first opportunity across the board: Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (NOR) was third in the overall World Cup mini tour in Ruka (FIN), after delivering strong performances in the distance events as well as the sprint.
Heidi Weng (NOR) was third in the sprint, third overall in the mini tour after the first two stages and started the Sunday pursuit race only 4.9 seconds behind the leader.
However, the pursuit took a dramatic turn toward the end: Weng fought her way to ninth place overall despite losing track of her laps, which caused her to assume she was done one lap short of the finish. She literally collapsed across the line, only to discover she had one more lap to go. Weng mustered all available courage and energy, got up, chased the pack and hauled into an impressive top 10 finish.
“I’m the biggest idiot in the world sometimes. At the time, I just wanted to dig myself into the snow and take my skis off. I thought I was at least five minutes behind. But I decided to continue and make the best of it. And it wasn’t a disaster after all,” Weng said to reporters after the race.
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Noteworthy: Pål Golberg (NOR) posted the fastest qualifier time in the classic sprint in Ruka (FIN) on Friday, the very first World Cup competition of the 2016 season. However, Golberg fell in the quarterfinal and didn’t advance to subsequent heats.
Madshus racers also posted two of the three fastest qualifier times in the women’s sprint: Østberg posted the second fastest and Weng the third fastest time. In the final, they were fourth and sixth respectively. The FIS Word Cup continues in Lillehammer (NOR) this coming weekend.
In the first 2016 IBU World Cup, Madshus biathlete Benedikt Doll helped Germany to second place in the mixed relay in Östersund (SWE) on Sunday. The IBU World Cup in Östersund continues with individual competitions Wednesday through Sunday.
Also, Madshus biathletes Bente Landheim (NOR), Erlend Bjøntegaard (NOR) and Erling Aalvik (NOR) claimed their first podiums of the season at the IBU Cup in Idre (SWE), with first, second and third place respectively in the Sunday sprint races.