SWEDEN – Charlotte Kalla won Olympic silver for Sweden in the team sprint at the 2010 Olympics in Whistler with teammate Anna Haag. Kalla would certainly be one of the medal contenders at the 2011 Worlds as well, but she won’t race that event. One of the reasons is that the women’s 4×5 k relay is on the schedule the following day.
“It’s the event schedule that dictates this decision. I want to put all my effort into the relay,” Kalla told Swedish national TV station SVT.
Furthermore, the team sprint at the 2011 Worlds is a classic technique event, and Kalla feels stronger in the freestyle technique. Kalla will also sit out two World Cup weekends this season. The first is the sprint weekend in Düsseldorf (GER) in the beginning of December, at least she is undecided on this weekend. Kalla will also skip the World Cup weekend in Rybinsk (RUS) because it conflicts with the Swedish national championships.
Hellner also skips the team sprint
Even Marcus Hellner (SWE) has decided to sit out the team sprint in Holmenkollen if he should qualify for that event.
“That’s just how it goes. But I hope to race the rest of the events,” Hellner told the Swedish newspaper Expressen.
The Swedish men didn’t have the day during the team sprint at the 2010 Olympics in Whistler, but the Swedish men’s team has a stronger squad of classic skiers, and it is not even a given that Hellner would land a spot among the sprint specialists. Hellner’s biggest chances are most likely his Olympic gold medal events: The pursuit and the men’s relay (4x10K).
Just like Kalla, it would have been more opportune for Hellner if the team sprint in Holmenkollen were freestyle rather than classic technique.
From Langd.se, September 25, 2010. By Kjell-Erik Kristiansen, translation by Inge Scheve
Inge is FasterSkier's international reporter, born and bred in Norway. A cross-country ski racer and mountain runner, she also dabbles on two wheels in the offseason. If it's steep and long, she loves it. Follow her on Twitter: @IngeScheve.