Kristen Skjeldal proved by winning the Norwegian 15 kilometer freestyle opener on Saturday that he is (plenty) good enough for the National Team (he was kicked off after last season). He was smiling wider than both National team members and biathlon champions after the race.
Skjeldal was very uncertain and insecure about his race shape before the race. He has made training changes and is no longer able to test himself against the National team guys in workouts.
â€œThis was really fun. I’m in the game. It was nice to get this confirmed this earlyâ€
He received congratulations from â€œeverywhereâ€ in the finish area. All the National team coaches came over and congratulated him.
Skjeldal himself did not want to use the word revenge after he was dropped from the team after last season.
â€˜I choose to avoid the word revenge. The National team coaches made a choice that was fair. But I needed to ski fast today.
How good was this race?
â€œIt was pretty good. I skied evenly (fast) the whole way. It was probably one of my better racesâ€.
Third place finisher Tor Arne Hetland believes that Skeldal's race would have been close to the podium in a World Cup event.
â€œSome people might say that it’s dangerous to be in this good shape this early, but I’m choosing to think that it’s good to start at a high level and then try to remain there. I hope that I’m able to do that