VenÃ¤lÃ¤inen, Kattilakoski, JauhojÃ¤rvi and Lallukka secured their World Cup spots for GÃ¤llivare
Finland's Riitta-Liisa Roponen and Russia's Sergei Shirijaev won the free technique events, 5 km for ladies and 10 km for men, in Olos on Sunday. For the Finnish skiers these were also qualification races for the next World Cup in GÃ¤llivare (SWE, Nov 18-19). Based on the results in Olos, following athletes were named in team for GÃ¤llivare: Kati VenÃ¤lÃ¤inen (second best Finn as third), Teemu Kattilakoski and Sami JauhojÃ¤rvi (two best Finns in men's race with places sixth and seventh) and Juha Lallukka (placed 8th in the race, but only 0,5 seconds behind JauhojÃ¤rvi, therefore earned a “wild card” spot).
Finland's quota for World Cups in normal distances is five ladies and four men. Roponen, Virpi Kuitunen and Aino-Kaisa Saarinen are in red group. In her season opening, Roponen was clearly the best athlete as she won by 25,5 seconds ahead of Valentina Shevchenko (UKR), even though she had slight trouble with a contact lense not staying in place.
“I was so nervous before the race, felt like so bad to go and compete. Even though it was less than 10 degrees below zero, my fingers and toes were so frozen, so skiing was not that relaxed. But, I am pleased with my performance and how the skiing felt”, Roponen said.
The World Cup qualification races for Finnish skiers continue in SaariselkÃ¤ Nov 11-12. Finnish team to GÃ¤llivare will be completed there.
Full results from Olos: http://personal.inet.fi/urheilu/muonion.liikunta/5-11-06.htm
Source: Finnish Ski Association