All eyes were likely on Brazil this past Sunday to watch the gut-wrenching World Cup soccer game between the U.S. and Portugal. However, FIFA was not the only organization to host a World Cup this weekend. The opening races of the International Ski Federation’s (FIS) Rollerski World Cup in Oroslavje, Croatia began June 20, and unlike the World Cup in Brazil the competition had few surprises.
The summer event drew roughly 70 competitors from ten countries, and as in past years Russia and Italy vied for dominance on the podium, with the former finding victory in four out of six races in the senior category.
Friday marked the first day of competition with all participants racing a 6 k hill climb. In the senior men’s category, Marcus Johansson of Sweden out-sprinted Simone Pandi of Italy to victory. Third place went to Ivan Solodov of Russia. Fellow teammates Ksenua Konokhova and Anna Grushina finished 1-2 in the senior women’s race. Nina Brosnic of Croatia took third.
The following day marked the individual distance competition, consisting of a 10 k for women and a 12 k for men. The women’s podium saw little change from the previous day with Konokhova besting both Brosnic and Grushina, who came in second and third. Italian Richard Tiraboschi grabbed the top spot for the men, followed by Russian Sergey Korsokov and Samuel Norlen of Sweden.
The Russians cemented their rollerskiing dominance on the final day of the opening weekend of the Rollerski World Cup. In the 180 meter sprint race, Victor Karasev of Russia was victorious over Italian Alessio Berlanda. Anastazia Voronina of Russia bested Elisa Fulcheri of Itlay in the two-person final, while Broznic earned her third medal of the weekend with bronze.
The FIS Rollerski World Cup continues July 25-28 in Solleftea, Sweden.