The FIS instituted a new protocol to deal with the large number of entrants in the individual start races at World Championships – a qualification race. These races were run today. 250 men and 150 women registered for the 10/15km classic individual start races. In order to decrease the numbers, FIS required women with more than 120 distance FIS points and men with more than 90 distance FIS points to qualify in special races.
The 5/10km classic qualifying races were held today and the top 10 men and women will race in the World Championship 10/15km races. There are no other qualification race for these World Championships.
Morgan Smyth (USA) won the 10km women’s qualifying race, gaining a start spot in tomorrow’s race. Smyth entered the day with 122.62 distance FIS points, just over the limit, and therefore requiring her participation in today’s race.
Smyth posted a 4.7 second win over Li Xin of China. 21 women competed for the 10 qualification spots.
55 men contested the 10km, with Wenlong Xu (CHN) capturing the top spot. The top consisted of 3 Danes, 2 Latvians, and 2 Australians. The field featured a large number of what the FIS considers “exotic” countries – nations where skiing is not a common past time. Finishers included Philip Boit of Kenya who raced in the Nagano Olympics, and whom Bjorn Daehlie greeted at the finish of Bolt’s Olympic race.
Topher Sabot is the editor of FasterSkier.