The Norwegian team for the individual classic sprint at the upcoming Worlds in Oberstdorf, Germany is one of the toughest one to make. Classic sprint is very popular among Norwegian skiers and the level is very high. Everyone that makes the team feel that they have a shot at the podium. Trond Iversen won last weekend’s classic sprint in the continental cup race in Oberstdorf and probably made the team.Â
Iversen won ahead of Odd-Bjorn Hjelmeset and Ola Vigen Hattestad.
– We were told that this would be counted as a qualification race, so a Worlds ticket should now be a reality for me. I won pretty clearly as well. I had the second best time in the prolog and won every heat after that. I was clearly in front in the final. This shows promise ahead of Worlds, says Iversen
He feels comfortable in the sprint course in Oberstdorf
-Â I like the course, and it’s possible to ski fast there. There are two long diagonal hills, and I like that a great deal. That suits both me and Jens Arne Svartedal well, says Iversen
Can we count on two Norwegians at the top of the podium at Worlds?
– Hehe (Laughs). The reality at the moment is than when four Norwegians are at the starting line in classic sprint, you have four medal candidates. Norwegians dominated the recent World Cup classic sprint in Asiago, Italy (Iversen was 4th), and I believe that this course suits us even better, says the sprinter.Â
He admits that it can be a lot of pressure to perform in just this one race.
– The pressure to perform in that one race will be very high. But the pressure ahead of last weekends qualification race was very high too. There are not many sprint races at Worlds (individual and two-person team sprint) and its important to use those chance you get well, says Iversen.
He feels that he is in very good shape.
– I have been in very good shape since the beginning of December. It’s important to stay sharp, but that shouldn’t be a problem, says Trond Iversen