Source: US Ski Team
Article with photos: http://www.usskiteam.com/public/news.php?dId=3&sN=1&aId=2808
SAPPORO, Japan (March 4) – Kris Freeman (Andover, NH) ignored shoulder pain and muscled his way through softening snow Sunday to finish 12th in a 50K mass start classic technique “slushfest,” the final race of the 2007 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. It was the the fifth top 20 of the season for Freeman, who injects himself with insulin up to six times a day to fight diabetes.
Norwegian Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset out-sprinted teammate and defending champion Frode Estil for the gold medal by four-tenths of a second in 2:20.12.6 with Germany's Jens Filbrich taking bronze (2:20.17.1). Freeman, who injured his right shoulder in a fall during the 30K pursuit a week earlier, had a time of 2:22.51.5 with Lars Flora (Anchorage, AK) 37th and James Southam (also Anchorage) 50th in the field of 68 starters.
“It was a slushfest. One hill was firm at the start and by the last lap, it was slush. It was really soft,” said Freeman of the six-lap Shirahatayama course. The weather was sunny with temperatures in the low 40s.
Second-best U.S. 50K at Worlds
“There was a north loop and a south loop, and the south loop was slush to begin with and the north was firm – but at the end it was all slush, too,” Freeman said. He won the U.S. 50K CL title at the end of last season in Fort Kent, ME, but noted wryly, “The pace here was a little faster.”