Bente Skari dominated the qualification heats in Holmenkollen, Oslo World Cup sprint on Thursday, and she kept control of the race right through to her 12th win of the season. Skari won relatively easily ahead of Manuela Henkel (GER), Kirsi Vaelimaa (FIN), Kati Venaelaeinen (FIN) and Emelie Ohrstig (SWE) in the final. Unlike most sprint events where there are 4 skiers in the final heats, there were five in Oslo. Skari now has 10 world cup wins on the season, to go with her 2 wins in Val di Fiemme. She possibly would have had more victories at the World Championships if she had not fallen ill.
Sara Renner (CAN) was the top North American in 19th place. Wendy Wagner (USA) was 39th. Beckie Scott is recovering from illness and did not start.
1 1 Skari Bente NOR 4:10.5
2 9 Henkel Manuela GER 4:11.2
3 2 Vaelimaa Kirsi FIN 4:18.0
4 8 Venaelaeinen Kati FIN 4:18.8
5 7 Ohrstig Emelie SWE 4:18.8
Just like the women's race, a Norwegian won the qualifying and went on to take the race victory as well. Haavard Bjerkeli won over Lauri Pyykoenen (FIN) in a photo finish. Bjerkeli was second in Vali di Fiemme last week. World Sprint Champion Tobias Fredriksson (SWE)was third, Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset (NOR) was fourth and Tobias' brother, current World Cup Leader Mathias Fredriksson (SWE) was fifth.
Lars Flora (USA) was 45, Dave Chamberlain (USA) was 51. Canadians George Grey and Chris Jefferies were 52 and 53 respectively. Results from the men's classic cross-country sprint in Oslo on Thursday:
1 Bjerkeli Haavard NOR 3:41.8 FF
13 Pyykoenen Lauri FIN 3:41.8 FF
3 14 Fredriksson Thobias SWE 3:42.3
4 6 Hjelmeset Odd-Bjoern NOR 3:44.0
5 8 Fredriksson Mathias SWE 3:44.5