Piglio, Italy – The four event 2009 FIS Rollerski World Championships came concluded on Saturday. The competitions were dominated by rollerski specialists, but several top World Cup skiers made appearances.
The week began with a head-to-head .2 km freestyle sprint. Athletes participated in the usual qualifying round to establish seeding and the top-8 advanced to the one-on-one heats. Italian Mateja Bogatec claimed victory in the women’s event over Elena Ektova (RUS). Bogatec won the 2008 Rollerski World Cup.
Italian World Cup veteran Karin Moroder was the lone cross-country skier of note in the competition, finishing 7th in the field of 13. She was eliminated in the quarterfinals. A ten year veteran on the World Cup and a mainstay on the Italian National Team, Moroder participated in all four events.
The men’s A-Final pitted two Italians against each other – Alessio Berlanda and Emanuele Sbabo, with Berlanda claiming the title. Norwegian Sidre Wiig Nordby edged Swede Tobias Westman in the B-Final for the bronze. 31 men competed. Like Bogatec, Sbabo was the Rollerski World Cup overall champion last year.
Action continued with a 3x4km freestyle relay. Only three female teams competed, with the Russians skiing to a convincing 41 second victory over the Italians. Ukraine was third, another 20 seconds back.
The men’s field was more substantial, with eight teams taking to the course. The Italians, starting men who finished 1st, 3rd and 4th in the 2008 overall Rollerski World Cup, claimed gold, 9 seconds ahead of Norway. Sweden was third, +30 seconds.
Next up, a 5km classic individual start hill climb, the only classic race in the Championships. Ukrainian Lada Nesterenko put six seconds on Russian Elena Vedeneeva for the win. Russia ended a successful day with skiers in places 2-4. Moroder, the top Italian, was 5th in the 18 woman field.
Eduard Kovyasho (RUS) edged Simone Paredi (ITA) by less than a second. Italian cross-country star, and Olymipc Champion, Giorgio DiCenta, finished 3rd 2.23 seconds behind the winner. 31 men completed the race.
The 2009 FIS Rollerski World Championships concluded with a 15km freestyle mass start event. Russian women took the top two spots, with the bronze medalist from the the hill climb, Tatjana Jambaeva, skiing away from teammate Vedeneeva for a 2 second victory. Hanna Seppas (SWE) took third, and Moroder finished 6th.
Paredi, silver medalist the day before, came back to win gold in the men’s race, winning by 1.3 seconds over Italian Worl Cup skier Valerio Checchi. Di Centa was 5th, 22 seconds back.