You heard what happened in the opening International Ski Federation (FIS) races this past weekend in a couple of hotspots in Scandinavia (namely Beitostølen, Bruksvallarna and Gällivare), but what about the rest of the skiing world?
Here are some highlights:
At least eight nations from around the world (Russia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Finland, Ukraine, China, and South Korea) competed in this mountainous region of northern Finland, with Gleb Retivykh beating fellow Russians Nikita Kriukov and Alexey Petukhov in the men’s classic sprint. Switzerland’s Dario Cologna finished after brother Gianluca Cologna (who was 15th) in 20th. Russian Maria Davydenkova won the women’s classic-sprint final over Masako Ishida of Japan.
Alexander Legkov dominated the men’s 15-kilometer freestyle on Saturday, beating fellow Russian Andrey Larkov by almost 27 seconds. Maxim Vylegzhanin was third (+29.6) and Dario Cologna — who won gold in the 15 k classic at the Sochi Olympics — finished ninth (+1:15.6). Alevtina Tanygina won the women’s 10 k freestyle by 6.2 seconds.
Not a single non-Russian in this field. Olga Mikhailova beat 54 women in the 5 k freestyle and Ravil Valiakhmetov won the 10 k freestyle (out of 116 men) on Friday. Valiakhmetov nabbed another victory in the men’s skate sprint on Saturday, Lilia Vasilieva topped the women’s skate sprint. Sunday was the classic sprint, with Olga Sergeeva beating out Vasilieva in the women’s final, and Vladislav Azanov winning the men’s final.
Many of the top Finnish athletes took part in the second stop of the Finnish Cup this past weekend in Rovaniemi, with Kerttu Niskanen edging Krista Pärmäkoski by 3.8 seconds in the women’s 7.5 k freestyle on Saturday. Riita-Liisa Roponen was just another half a second back in third.
Matti Heikkinen won the men’s 12.5 k freestyle by 14.5 seconds over Iivo Niskanen, and Ville Nousiainen placed third.