Women aim for podium, men for top 20-results
Team Finland goes to World Cup in BeitostÃ¶len with 10 skiers and clear goals:
women’s team aim for podium place, men’s team for top 20-results. The technique
and distance, 10 km classic, favour the strong women’s team with Virpi
Aino-Kaisa Saarinen, Kirsi VÃ¤limaa, Riikka Sarasoja and Riitta-Liisa Lassila.
Sarasoja earned her spot over Mona-Liisa Malvalehto after a qualification race.
â€In BeitostÃ¶len we have our best event, 10 km classic, so the goal is clearly a
podium place. As for relay, the minimum is a podium place but for sure we aim
for victoryâ€, women’s team coach Ismo HÃ¤mÃ¤lÃ¤inen says.
Last year the Finnish men didn’t score any World Cup points in the normal
distance opening event (Olli Ohtonen was the best Finn with 31th place), but
head coach Reijo JylhÃ¤ is confident this year the goal will be accomplished.
However, the biggest expectations in the weekend for men’s team are in relay.
â€Teemu Kattilakoski will go to BeitostÃ¶len just for the relay. It will be
interesting raceâ€, JylhÃ¤ predicts.
In the five men team in BeitostÃ¶len Kattilakoski and Ohtonen are accompanied by
Sami JauhojÃ¤rvi, Ville Nousiainen and Jari IsometsÃ¤. Nousiainen’s nomination
have come as surprise to few people, but not for himself:
â€Based on the physical tests I am in a good shape, and I like distances on
classical technique. The aim is to score pointsâ€, Nousiainen says.
The 21-years-old skier from Kouvola got to race in World Cup outside Finland
last season in Oslo, where he finished 31st.
â€It was a great experience to ski there the 50 kmâ€, Nousiainen smiles.