Top skiers skipping the biathlon opening.
The new Norwegian biathlon coach has ambitions that his skiers will race faster than the cross country skiers, reports VG Nett.
Biathlon skiers Ole Einar Bjorndalen, Frode Andresen, Lars Berger and Emil Helge Svendsen are all choosing cross country over biathlon when both disciplines are having their Norwegian opening races at Beitostolen this weekend. The four skiers have their coach’s full blessing.
-I feel that it’s very positive that they want to challenge the cross country skiers, says the coach. Our goal is to be fastest on skis, and there are no reasons why we shouldn’t be just that. We’ll get an indication on Saturday. I don’t know if any of them are ready to win. It depends upon skis and how they feel that day, says coach Kjell Ove Oftedal
The coach disagrees with those who feel that cross country skiers should be faster than biathlon skiers. He says that biathlon skiers only have shooting to worry about besides the skiing, while most cross country skiers have to practice both classic and skating. Several of the Norwegian biathlon team skiers are very interested in qualifying to race the cross country Worlds in Sapporo, Japan this winter.
– We are training as much as them, and there are no reasons why we shouldn’t ski as fast or faster. We haven’t trained as we should if we are skiing slower, says Oftedal.