NORDIC SKIING: Amazing Johaug routs the field for eighth Worlds gold in Nordic Worlds

Norway's Olympic and World Champion skier Therese Johaug.

The FIS Nordic World Championshuips in Seefeld (AUT) will continue for another week, but the amazing comeback story of Therese Johaug has to be the highlight of the event already.

Norway’s Johaug, now 30, one of the most decorated cross-country skiers in history, had won seven World Championships golds through the 2015 Worlds, but then suffered a doping suspension because of a loaded lip balm (true story).

She had to sit out competition through the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, but became eligible again for this season. She won all seven of her World Cup starts, and came into the Nordic Worlds as one of the favorites in the distance races.

How did she do?

She won her first race, the 15 km Skiathlon – half Classical, half Freestyle – over teammate Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg, who is the overall World Cup leader, by almost a minute: 36:54.5 to 37:52.1!

She has the 10 km Classical coming on Tuesday and the 30 km Freestyle next Saturday, which could give her 10 gold medals in World Championships competition and 14 total medals. She could join four others who have won 10 Worlds golds in Cross Country: Marit Bjoergen (NOR: 18), Yelena Valbe (RUS: 14), Petter Nothug (NOR: 13) and Larisa Lazutina (RUS: 11).

Remarkable? No, this is amazing.

The other Cross Country events have held to form, with Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR) winning the men’s Sprint and Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR) just edging Swede Stina Nilsson for the women’s Sprint victory.

In Nordic Combined, Germany’s Eric Frenzel – who won five World Cup seasonal titles in a row, but appeared to have his best days behind him – rallied to win his sixth and seventh career Worlds golds with victories in the Individual event and the Team Sprint (with Fabian Riessle).

In Ski Jumping, Germany’s Markus Eisenbichler, who had won five medals on the World Cup tour this season – but no wins – came through in the men’s 130 m hill event to lead an upset 1-2 finish with Karl Geiger. The two then teamed with Richard Freitag and Stephan Leyhe to win the Team Event on Sunday to maintain the German sweep so far.

Summaries:

FIS Nordic Skiing World Championships
Seefeld (AUT) ~ 19 February-3 March 2019

CROSS COUNTRY
(Full results here)

Men

1.6 km Sprint Freestyle: 1. Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR), 3:21.17; 2. Federico Pellegrino (ITA), +0.23; 3. Gleb Retivykh (RUS), +1.37; 4. Richard Jouve (FRA), +1.99; 5. Emil Iversen (NOR), +2.25; 6. Lucas Chanavat (FRA), +21.50.

Team Sprint Classical: 1. Emil Oversen/Johannes Klaebo (NOR), 18:49.86; 2. Gleb Retivykh/Alexander Bolshunov (RUS), 18:51.74; 3. Francesco de Fabiani/Federico Pellegrino (ITA), 18:53.89; 4. Oskar Svensson/Calle Halfvarsson (SWE), 18:54.59; 5. Richard Jouve/Lucas Chanavat (FRA), 18:58.99; 6. Max Hauke/Dominik Baldauf (AUT), 19:13.70; 7. Iivo Niskanen/Ristomatti Hakola (FIN), 9:17.38; 8. Simi Hamilton/Erik Bjornsen (USA), 19:18.42.

Skiathlon (15 km C + 15 km F): 1. Sjor Roethe (NOR), 1:10.21.8; 2. Alexander Bolshunov (RUS), 1:10:21.9; 3. Martin Johnsrud Sundby (NOR), 1:10:22.5; 4. Iivo Niskanen (FIN), 1:10:34.1; 5. Clement Parisse (FRA), 1:10.42.5; 6. Alex Harvey (CAN), 1:11:20.7; 7. Andrew Musgrave (GBR), 1:11:22.1; 8. Adrien Backscheider (FRA), 1:11:25.4.

Women

1.2 km Sprint Freestyle: 1. Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR), 2:32.35; 2. Stina Nilsson (SWE), +1.66; 3. Mari Eide (NOR), +2.84; 4. Jonna Sundling (SWE), +3.17; 5. Victoria Carl (GER), +5.71; 6. Maja Dahlqvist (SWE), +31.49.

Team Sprint Classical: 1. Stina Nilsson/Maja Dahlqvist (SWE), 15:14.93; 2. Katja Visnar/Anamarija Lampic (SLO), 15:15.30; 3. Ingvild Oestberg/Maiken Falla (NOR), 15:15.53; 4. Natalia Nepryaeva/Yulia Belorukova (RUS), 15:15.86; 5. Sadie Bjornsen/Jessica Diggins (USA), 15:17.72; 6. Victoria Carl/Sandra Ringwald (GER), 15:21.64; 7. Anne Kylloenen/Krista Parmakoski (FIN), 15:23.79; 8. Laurien van der Graaff/Nadine Faendrich (SUI), 15:36.28.

Skiathlon (7.5 km C + 7.5 km F): 1. Therese Johaug (NOR), 36:54.5; 2. Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR), 37:52.1; 3. Natalia Nepyraeva (RUS), 37:53.2; 4. Astrid Jacobsen (NOR), 37:56.5; 5. Frida Karlsson (SWE), 38:01.9; 6. Charlotte Kalla (SWE), 38:07.8; 7. Heidi Weng (NOR), 38:14.7; 8. Krista Parmakoski (FIN), 38:28.2. Also in the top 25: 19. Julia Kern (USA), 39:50.0; … 24. Rosie Frankowski (USA), 39:55.1.

NORDIC COMBINED
(Full results here)

Gundersen 130 m hill/10.0 km: 1. Eric Frenzel (GER), 23:43.0; 2. Jan Schmid (NOR), +4.3; 3. Franz-Josef Rehrl (AUT), +8.7; 4. Mario Seidl (AUT), +15.3; 5. Jarl Magnus Riiber (NOR), +20.9; 6. Akito Watabe (JPN), +22.0; 7. Fabian Riessle (GER), +22.3; 8. Antoine Gerard (FRA), +29.6.

Team Sprint 130 m hill/2×7.5 km: 1. Eric Frenzel/Fabian Riessle (GER), 28:29.5; 2. Jan Schmid/Jarl Magnus Riiber (NOR), +8.2; 3. Franz-Josef Rehrl/Bernhard Gruber (AUT), +9.2; 4. Yoshito Watabe/Akito Watabe (JPN), +56.4; 5. Aaron Kostner/Alessandro Pittin (ITA), +1:37.1; 6. Antoine Gerard/Maxime Laheurte (FRA), +1:44.6; 7. Ilkka Herola/Eero Hirvonen (FIN), +2:03.1; 8. Szczepan Kupczak/Pawel Slowiok (POL), +2:30.4. Also: 9. Taylor Fletcher/Ben Loomis (USA), +2:56.8.

SKI JUMPING
(Full results here)

Men’s 130 m hill: 1. Markus Eisenbichler (GER), 279.4; 2. Karl Geiger (GER), 267.3; 3. Killian Peier (SUI), 266.1; 4. Ryoyu Kobayashi (JPN), 262.0; 5. Kamil Stoch (POL), 259.4; 6. Stefan Kraft (AUT), 256.1; 7. Johann Andre Forfang (NOR), 250.9; 8. Robert Johansson (NOR), 248.9.

Men’s Team 130 m hill: 1. Germany (Geiger, Freitag, Leyhe, Eisenbichler), 987.5; 2. Austria (Aschenwald, Hayboeck, Huber, Kraft), 930.9; 3. Japan (Sato, Ito, J. Kobayashi, R. Kobayashi), 920.2; 4. Poland, 909.1; 5. Norway, 900.2; 6. Slovenia, 858.7; 7. Switzerland, 837.0; 8. Czech Rep., 818.4.

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