FIS Nordic Combined World Cup (Seefeld, Austria): Normal hill/10 k
Two of the same men from Friday repeated on the podium on Day 2 of the Seefeld Triple Nordic Combined World Cup, with Japan’s Akito Watabe notching his second-straight win on Saturday.
Norway’s Jarl Magnus Riiber, who finished second on Friday, placed third in Saturday’s individual normal hill/10 k Gundersen, while Germany’s Vinzenz Geiger placed second, more than a minute behind Watabe.
Watabe jumped to first and started the 10 k with a 25-second head start on Riiber in second. Geiger started seventh, 1:45 minutes back, and rose to second at the finish, 1:05.5 behind Watabe (who won in 23:28.5) and 3.4 seconds ahead of Riiber in third (+1:08.9).
For the second day in a row, Norway’s Jan Schmid narrowly missed the podium in fourth (+1:14.1), up from fifth after the jump.
Taylor Fletcher was the lone American competing on Day 2, and he ended up 31st, up 10 places after jumping to 41st. Fletcher started the 10 k race 4:44 out of first then finished 3:52.9 behind Watabe.
The Seefeld Triple concludes Sunday with the individual normal hill/15 k Gundersen.
FIS Cross Country World Cup (Seefeld, Austria): Freestyle sprints
It doesn’t get any closer than that. On Saturday, American Sophie Caldwell and Switzerland’s Laurien van der Graaff tied for first in the women’s 1.1-kilometer freestyle sprint final at the World Cup in Seefeld, Austria. They both finished within one-hundredth of a second of each other to take the victory — the last sprint before the Olympics — in 2:18.65 minutes.
Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla finished 0.21 seconds later for third place.
“I broke my pole in the semifinal, then I got really tired,” van der Graaff said in a post-race interview with the International Ski Federation (FIS). “But I still believed I can be with Maiken and Sophie, and that I could catch them in the final was just great.”
Norway and the U.S. both had two in the final, with Kathrine Rolsted Harsem of Norway placing fourth (+1.34), Sweden’s Linn Sömskar finishing fifth (+1.83) and American Sadie Bjornsen taking sixth (+2.26).
Falla had raced to first in the qualifying round with a time of 2:21.44, Italy’s Greta Laurent qualified second (+1.43), van der Graaff third (+1.66), Caldwell fourth (+1.84), and Bjornsen fifth (+2.01).
Van der Graaff then won her quarterfinal and placed third in the first semifinal, 0.77 second behind Caldwell, who won it. Falla was second in that semifinal (+0.16) and van der Graaff advanced as a lucky loser.
Caldwell and Falla went head to head in every heat, with Falla winning their first quarterfinal by 0.08 seconds over Caldwell in second.
Bjornsen won her quarterfinal and finished second to Harsem in the second semifinal.
A third American, Kikkan Randall also qualified for the heats, placing 18th in the qualifier then finishing third in her quarterfinal (1.33 seconds behind Sömskar in first) to end up 14th overall.
Canada’s Dahria Beatty placed 30th in the qualifier to nab the last spot in the rounds, then finished fourth in her quarterfinal (1.65 seconds behind Laurent in first) for 20th overall.
For the U.S., Ida Sargent missed qualifying by about half a second in 37th (+8.20), Rosie Brennan finished 42nd (+9.86) and Caitlin Patterson was 52nd (+13.0).
Also for Canada, Emily Nishikawa finished 51st (+12.68) and Cendrine Browne was 54th (+13.34).
The men raced 1.4 k, with Norway’s Johannes Høsflot Klæbo qualifying first in 2:46.89 then winning his quarterfinal and semifinal before putting the hammer down for one last time in the final, finishing first in 3:02.66.
France’s Lucas Chanavat placed second in the final, 0.48 seconds back, after qualifying sixth, winning his quarterfinal and placing second in the first semifinal (0.33 seconds behind Klæbo). Sweden’s Calle Halfvarsson took the third spot on the podium after finishing 0.97 seconds after Klæbo. Halfvarsson had previously qualified seventh, taken second in his quarterfinal and advanced as a lucky loser in third in the first semifinal (0.52 seconds behind Klæbo).
Italy’s Federico Pellegrino missed the podium in fourth (+1.06), Russia’s Gleb Retivykh placed fifth (+1.17), and Norway’s Emil Iversen was sixth (+5.57).
Canada’s Alex Harvey and American Simi Hamilton both made it to the semifinals, where they finished fourth and fifth, respectively, and did not advance to the finals. Harvey had qualified for the rounds in 22nd and won his quarterfinal, then raced in the second semifinal, where he finished fourth, 0.47 seconds behind Iversen in first. That put Harvey eighth overall on the day.
Hamilton clocked the fifth-fastest qualifying time, 6.46 seconds back from Klæbo’s top time. The U.S. Ski Team member then placed second to Pellegrino in his quarterfinal and was fifth in the first semifinal, 2.61 seconds behind Klæbo. Overall, Hamilton placed ninth.
Also for the U.S., Erik Bjornsen finished 37th in the qualifier, 0.89 seconds out of the top 30 and 11.99 second out of first, Logan Hanneman was 39th (+12.52), Andy Newell 42nd (+12.90), Reese Hanneman 65th (+17.91), and Ben Lustgarten 76th (+21.88).
Canada’s Len Valjas placed 40th (+12.72), Julien Locke 43rd (+13.31), Knute Johnsgaard 51st (+14.74), Bob Thompson 58th (+16.55), Graeme Killick 61st (+17.28), and Devon Kershaw 70th (+19.53).
IBU Open European Championships (Ridnaun-Val Ridanna, Italy): Men’s and women’s pursuits
France’s Chloé Chevalier picked up her second win and third podium of the week at the International Biathlon Union (IBU) Open European Championships on Saturday in Ridnaun, Italy, winning the women’s 10 k pursuit, while Russia’s Alexander Loginov rose to the top step of the podium in the men’s 12.5 k pursuit on Saturday.
Chevalier started the women’s pursuit in second, 13 seconds behind Ukraine’s Iryna Varvynets (who won Friday’s sprint and thus started first), and shot clean to take the lead after the third stage — where Varvynets missed one. Chevalier went on to clean the final stage for perfect 20-for-20 shooting and crossed the line first in 29:25.4. Varvynets finished second, 11.0 seconds back after missing a single target in the first standing (0+0+1+0), and France had two on the podium with Julia Simon in third (+43.2). Simon also shot 19-for-20, with her miss coming in the second prone stage (0+1+0+0).
“Three medals in three races is definitely more than I had expected,” Chevalier, 22, told the event’s organizers on Saturday. “Today I saw that Iryna shoots faster than I, and so I really gave my all in the track. Even if it might not look like it, after the many races in the last few days I am noticing that I am getting more and more tired.”
American Chloe Levins rose from 59th at the start to 42nd at the finish (+4:11.8), with three clean stages and two misses in the first standing (0+0+2+0). She had the 28th-fastest overall range time and 30th-ranked shooting time.
In the men’s pursuit, Loginov started first as Friday’s sprint winner Latvia’s Andrejs Rastorgujevs did not start. Loginov held the lead throughout the race despite two misses — one in the first stage and another in the last stage (1+0+0+1) — and secured the win in 32:22.1. Bulgaria’s Krasimir Anev started second, 19 seconds after Loginov, and held his place as well, shooting clean and finishing second, 27.6 second back.
“I am really happy here in Ridanna and the results reflect that,” Loginov, 25, told organizers. “Not to start in the individual event on Wednesday was the right decision because the last few days had been very demanding with six races in eight days. I am cross with my two errors in the shooting range, but very happy with my performance in the track.”
Russia had two on the podium with Evgeniy Garanichev in third (+1:10.7) after Garanichev started in bib 19 and overcame three penalties (1+0+2+0) with the fastest overall course time.
Canada’s Macx Davies started 27th and finished 35th (+4:33.9) with five misses (3+0+2+0), while American Alex Howe rose from 53rd at the start to 43rd (+5:53.5) with five penalties (2+2+1+0).
The 2018 Open European Championships conclude with the single mixed relay and mixed relay on Sunday. American Susan Dunklee and Lowell Bailey are on the start list for the single mixed relay, Canada’s Carsen Campbell and Sarah Beaudry. For the mixed relay, the U.S. has entered Levins, Maddie Phaneuf, Paul Schommer, and Alex Howe.