Chief Of Sport Defends Not Selecting Winner For World Cup Races

FasterSkierDecember 7, 2005

Norwegian chief of cross country skiing defends why the skier that beat most of Norway’s top sprinters “fair and square” wasn’t selected to race the Canadian World Cup races.


For background see’s article Beating The World Cup Skiers Didn’t Count

Have to perform several times
— I can understand that Havard Solbakken is disappointed. The question is who should he have replaced, says chief of sport Bjornar Hakensmoen

He says that all the sprint national team skiers have performed well enough to get to race in Canada. These sprinters will therefore represent Norway:Tor Arne Hetland, Eldar Rœnning, Bœrre Næss, HÃ¥vard Bjerkeli, John Kristian Dahl, Trond Iversen, Johan Kjœlstad, Ola Vigen Hattestad and Jens Arne Svartedal.

– It’s enough for national team skiers to confirm that they are in shape, while non- national team skiers have to perform several times to convince, says Hakensmoen.

He is pointing to the fact that both Geir Ludvig Aasen and Tord Asle Gjerdalen have skied themselves on to the National team after many good results.

– We have a team that we have invested in and that we want to see race, but we didn’t let a top-ten skier from Beitostolen race one of the Kuusamo races, says Hakensmoen and points to the fact that Geir Ludvig Aasen only got to race the skate race in Kuusamo despite being 7th in classic at Beitostolen

Who should we kick off?

He would like to know who should have been kicked off.
– Havard Bjerkeli who has been sick and was only 6th in the BUL sprint race? — He had many good races last season and the year before.
– Borre Naess who was 9th in the BUL sprint race?
– Naess was the second best Norwegian behind Tor Arne Hetland in Düsseldorf
Jens Arne Svartedal is better known as a classic skier?
We view Jens Arne as number nine among the national team sprinters at the moment, but he has good results from last season, also in skating. He was among others seventh in Bern last season.

Can be selected if…

Hakensmoen denies that the World Cup spots are reserved.

– We had told the sprinters that they would get to race in Canada if they performed in the BUL sprint. We could have adjusted the team if some didn’t perform, says Hakensmoen.
He is saying that this was also the case for regular distance skier Espen Harald Bjerke, who was not selected to be on the team for Canada. — He had also been told that he would be on the team if he performed (but he didn’t), says Hakensmoen.

Bjerke was replaced by Tord Asle Gjerdalen following his good result in the distance race last weekend.


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