NORDIC SKIING: Johaug continues unbeatable run at World Championships in Seefeld

Norwegian Cross Country superstar Therese Johaug

The amazing comeback story of Norway’s Therese Johaug continued at the Nordic World Championships in Seefeld (AUT) with her second win, this time in the 10 km Classical race.

The Nordic Worlds have been shaken by the arrests of five athletes relating to doping on the morning of 27 February (Wednesday), but the competition has continued, and Johaug has been the story.

For those who don’t remember, Johaug won a relay gold in 2010 and a silver (30 km Classical) and bronze (10 km Classical) and was ready to be one of the stars of the 2018 Games. But she was suspended for doping because she used a lip balm that had prohibited substances on it, and missed the Games.

She returned from her suspension this season and won seven distance races in a row in World Cup competition. At the Nordic Worlds, she has won her eighth and ninth career golds in the Skiathlon and, on Tuesday, the 10 km Classical.

She went right to the front in the 10 km race, and was in the lead at every checkpoint. She really wasn’t pressed, leading by for seconds after just 2.3 km and had a lead as big as almost eight seconds at 6.2 km. She cruised in with a 12.2-second win over Sweden’s Frida Karlsson – just 19 – and 35.6 seconds ahead of World Cup leader Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR).

“I did not know how it went after I finished the race but I saw my name on top of the list,” said Johaug. “I felt really good for the last kilometers and I am really happy to win today. Before the season started I had the dream to win this competition.”

Johaug has two more events: the 4×5 km relay tomorrow – with Norway the prohibitive favorite – and then a real challenge, the 30 km Mass Start Freestyle on Saturday. If she were to win four golds, it would tie her for the second-most ever in a single Worlds; Russian Yelena Vyalbe won five at the 1997 Worlds in Trondheim (NOR).

In the men’s 15 km Classical, Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby, a three-time winner of the overall World Cup, got his first career World Championships gold with a satisfying, come-from-behind victory. As far back as eighth during the race, he slowly moved up and was second with 2.5 km to go. He finally assumed the lead on the final lap over Russia’s Alexander Bessmertnykh and won a tight duel by just 2.9 seconds at the finish.

Sundby said afterwards, “I did not think I was going to be this emotional in this kind of moment but it’s been a long time coming so today I have made it together with a fantastic waxing team and some really great team mates and just people that believed in me for finally getting this one.”

In Ski Jumping, Norway’s Maren Lundby – the World Cup leader and 2018 Olympic champ – won the women’s 109 m hill competition as expected.

The Nordic Worlds continued through the weekend. 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.

15 km Classical: 1. Sundby (NOR), 38:22.6; 2. Alexander Bessmertnykh (RUS), 38:25.5; 3. Niskanen (FIN), 38:43.0; 4. Andrey Larkov (RUS), 38:45.4; 5. Didrik Toenseth (NOR), 38:46.9; 6. Dario Cologna (SUI), 38:55.0; 7. Roethe (NOR), 38:56.5; 8. Bolshunov (RUS), 39:21.1. Also in the top 25: 17. Erik Bjornsen (USA), 40:12.9.

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 Faehndrich (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.

10 km Classical: 1. Johaug (NOR), 27:02.1; 2. Karlsson (SWE), 27:14.3; 3. Oestbesg (NOR), 27:37.7; 4. Parmakoski (FIN), 27:39.1; 5. Nadine Faehndrich (SUI), 28:06.0; 6. Anastasia Sedova (RUS), 28:07.0; 7. Nepryaeva (RUS), 28:09.6; 8. Teresa Stadlober (AUT), 28:10.0. Also in the top 25: 23. S. Bjornsen (USA), 28>43.1; 24. Rosie Brennan (USA), 28:47.2; 25. Diggins (USA), 28:54.0.

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.

Women’s 109 m hill: 1. Maren Lundby (NOR), 259.6; 2. Katharina Althaus (GER), 259.1; 3. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz (AUT), 247.6; 4. Juliane Seyfarth (GER), 244.4; 5. Eva Pinkelnig (AUT), 241.8; 6. Sara Takanashi (JPN), 236.7; 7. Nika Kriznar, (SLO), 236.1; 8. Ursa Bogataj (SLO), 231.7.

Women’s Team 109 m hill: 1. Germany (Seyfarth, Straub, Vogt, Althaus), 898.9; 2. Austria (Pinkelnig, Seifriedsberger, Hoelzl, Iraschko-Stolz), 880.3; 3. Norway (Stroem, Braaten, Opseth, Lundby), 876.9; 4. Slovenia, 828.1; 5. Russia, 820.3; 6. Japan, 806.1; 7. France, 718.1; 8. Italy, 690.5. Also: 10. United States (Logan Sankey, Nina Lussi, Tara Geraghty-Moats, Nita Englund), 291.6.