A Russian racer skied over Sadie Bjornsen’s tips 2.5 kilometers into the 4 x 5 k relay, but the Americans fought back strong to finish fourth. “We all skied the best we possibly could today,” said Liz Stephen. “I’m already dreaming for the next chance at a podium.”
Bryan Fletcher leapt into contention in the large hill/10 k individual at 2015 World Championships with the 13th-best jump to start the race within 44 seconds of first. In the fight for third until the last few hundred meters, he placed fifth for U.S. Nordic Combined’s best individual result at World Championships since 2009.
Johan Olsson skied to a convincing victory in Wednesday’s 15 k freestyle in Falun, Sweden in front of a home crowd. The 34-year-old who focuses solely on championship race overcame what he called a “mission impossible” after facing a year of illness and time apart from his family. He was followed by Maurice Manificat who won France’s first medal in 10 years. Anders Gløersen of Norway finished third.
Ivan Babikov couldn’t believe what he was hearing early in the 2015 World Championships 15 k freestyle. Two years after placing fourth in that race, he was in danger of finishing near last if he didn’t speed up. Babikov turned it on for his second lap, which ended up being 24 seconds after than his first, to place 20th. Also for Canada, Graeme Killick placed 32nd and Jess Cockney was 57th in his first distance race in almost three months.
Just how anomalous was the podium in the women’s 10 k freestyle at FIS World Championships on Tuesday? We find that FIS points still provide a great overall correlation to the results – and that while the five unseeded early starters had an advantage, the biggest losers in terms of snowstorm effects appeared to be the Germans, not the Norwegians.
Americans Jessie Diggins and Caitlin Gregg discuss how they were able to take advantage of the opportunities in Tuesday’s 10 k freestyle individual start at the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. The USST also boasted a day where all of its four starters landed in the top 15 with Liz Stephen in 10th and Kikkan Randall in 15th.
Charlotte Kalla made for a happy local crowd on Tuesday with a 41-second win in the 10 k freestyle at 2015 World Championships in Falun, Sweden. Two Americans joined her on the podium for a historic first in a women’s distance race at a World Championships: Jessie Diggins in second and Caitlin Gregg in third.
With the pressure off, the Canadian women posted some career-best performances on Tuesday in the 10-kilometer freestyle individual start at 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. Emily Nishikawa took 30th, and Perianne Jones placed 32nd in what she said would probably be her final international race.
In a busy day outside of Minsk, Belarus, Sean Doherty finished 11th for the U.S. in the junior men’s pursuit, followed by Canada’s Aidan Millar in 14th; Millar’s teammate Pearce Hanna placed 13th in the youth men’s race. We caught up with nine different North American competitors, plus have a gallery of photos by Jake Ellingson and Jane Robertson to share.
Longtime friends and teammates Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Maiken Caspersen Falla, of Norway, were out for some redemption after their fourth-place finish in the 2013 World Championships team sprint, and they got it with a sizeable win over Sweden’s Ida Ingemarsdotter and Stina Nilsson, while Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk and Sylwia Jaśkowiec were thrilled with bronze.
The 2015 American Birkebeiner 51 k freestyle marathon on Saturday offered no shortage of excitement, as Italy’s Segio Bonaldi outsprinted three French skiers to win his second Birkie by half a second. American Holly Brooks used a hard push in the final kilometers to collect her second Birkie title as well.
Alex Harvey approached Saturday’s 30 k skiathlon with a winning mindset and came out with bronze, his second medal in as many races so far at 2015 World Championships. “A medal today is as good as gold,” Canadian National Team Coach Justin Wadsworth says, “We couldn’t want anything more.” Russia’s Maxim Vylegzhanin outlasted Switzerland’s Dario Cologna for his first world title.
When Norwegian Therese Johaug threw down the hammer on Mördarbacken, a.k.a. “murder-hill”, in the last lap of the women’s 15 k skiathlon there was no hope for the rest of the competition. Using the hill to her advantage, Johaug skied to a World Championships gold ahead of teammate Astrid Jacobsen and Charlotte Kalla of Sweden.