Praz de Lys, France – Invild Flugstad Oestberg (NOR) won her third consecutive race at the FIS Junior World Ski Championships in Praz de Lys (FRA) in 5 km Individual start freestyle.
The 18-year-old Norwegian bested Lisa Larsen of Sweden by 3.7 seconds. Third place went to Oestberg’s teammate, Hilde Lauvhaug, 6,1 seconds back. The pre-Championshp favorite, Marthe Kristoffersen (NOR), is still sick and did not start today.
Conditions were excellent in Praz de Lys, with sunny skis and temperatures well above freezing.
Oestberg, who will compete at the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships in Liberec, has now won 5 Junior World Champion medals (three individual victories this year and one team and a second place in 2008).
After the race she commented, “I started very fast in today’s race, maybe too fast. At the 3.3 km intermediate point I felt tired, but at the same moment I heard that I was in the lead by 7 seconds. Then I pushed hard and it was enough for the third victory. It is amazing – I never expected three gold medals. I was hoping for a medal but never expected three golden ones. But I also feel very sorry for Marthe (Kristoffersen). She was sick last year and also this year – that is sad.”
Larsen is no stranger to the podium as well, with two top-3 finishes in Malles, Italy last season. For the 19-year-old Lauvhaug, it is her first medal at the Junior World Championships – her previous best was a fourth place in Tuesday’s Pursuit.
Said Larsen, “It was a very good race for me, better and better towards the end. I hoped to make the podium but I was not sure. For tomorrow, I will try to take a medal with my team. We are good, but the Norwegians are also very strong.”
Scandinavia claimed the top 5 spots in the race, and 6 of the top 10.
The US was led by Sadie Bjornsen in 29th, +1:18.7. Teammates Adele Espy, Jesse Diggins, and Amy Glen finished 39th, 59th and 64th respectively.
Canada was led by Marliss Kromm in 41st.
Racing at the World Junior Championships concludes tomorrow with the relays.