This is how the future races
Here’s how to earn the respect of the established elite– let’s highlight a few of the ways the young stars rule!
At their first-ever World Championships at the senior level: Both turbo junior Helene Fossesholm (NOR) and 22-year-old national team rookie Harald Østberg Amundsen (NOR) take home medals from the 2021 FIS Nordic World Championships in Oberstdorf (GER).
After two top-10 finishes in the skiathlon and the 10-kilometer skate race, Fossesholm anchored Norway to gold in the relay on Thursday, March 4. The 19-year-old national team rookie capitalized on the 20-second lead she was handed at the exchange, cruised through her 5-kilometer leg and finished 26 seconds ahead of Russia in second place.
And: 25 seconds later, Madshus veteran Krista Pärmäkoski (FIN) pulled off a mind-blowing anchor leg. The seasoned 29-year-old moved Finland back in contention for the podium and to the bronze medal.
In Fossesholm’s first race at the World Championships, the 15km skiathlon on Saturday, February 27, Fossesholm cruised into 6th place. Then, on Tuesday, March 2, Fossesholm fought her way to an impressive eighth place in the 10-kilometer skate. The determined 19-year-old churned her way through snow that was getting warmer and slower by the minute and pulled off her second top 10 finish in her first World Championships at the senior level.
On the men’s side, rocket rookie Harald Østberg Amundsen, 22, impressed from the first pole plant with solid technique and monster speed: cruised straight the podium in his first World Championships at the senior level – 3rd place despite falling on the critical last lap.
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Finished in style
This weekend, both of the rocket rookies capped their first World Cup season with rock solid performances in the two final events of the 2020-21 World Cup.
On Saturday, Fossesholm was seventh in the women’s 10-kilometer classic mass start race, and Østberg Amundsen was 13 in the men’s 15-kilometer classic mass start race. On Sunday, they were fifth and 15th, respectively in the 30-kilometer and 50-kilometer skate races. Both events took place at more than 1800 meters elevation in the Engadin valley near St Moritz (SUI).
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Also, worth noting: Lucas Bögl (GER) posted the fastest time in the 50-kilometer mass start on Sunday, moving up from 58th to 11th place in the pursuit-style double header in Engadin.
Biathlon World Cup thriller on tap
Among the biathletes, the king of the 2021 IBU World Championships Sturla Holm Lægreid (NOR) capped off the World Cup weekend in Nove Mesto (CZE) with downright impressive shooting and lightning-fast laps on the course, anchoring Norway to second place in the single mixed relay.
Holm Lægreid now sits in second place in the overall IBU World Cup, which concludes in Östersund (SWE) next weekend. Only 25 points separates the 24-year-old from first place with three individual events to go.