Norway’s team to the World Championships in Falun, Sweden, was announced after the 15 k/ 30 k skiathlon at the Norwegian National Championships in Røros today. Norway will send a squad consisting of 11 women and 12 men to the 2015 FIS World Championships, which take place in Falun, Sweden, from February 18 to March 1.
The team includes both favorites from the World Cup circuit so far this season – including the athletes who have dominated the World Cup points and prize money – and a few carefully-taken choices based on more recent results. For instance, both Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen and Kristin Størmer Steira were named to the team after making their World Cup debuts for the season in Rybinsk, Russia, last weekend. Jacobsen won her first start, while Steira placed fifth in her first start after recovering from a double hip fracture this fall.
The Norwegian national championships were a major part of the selection criteria – so important that the national team coaching staff ordered Petter Northug to cut his altitude camp in the Alps short and compete at the championships if he wanted to be considered for the national team that will represent Norway in Falun in February.
The championships opened with 10 k/15 k freestyle races on Thursday, continued with freestyle sprints Friday, skiathlons for both men and women Saturday, and will conclude with relays on Sunday. Besides excellent competition from the Norwegians themselves, the women’s races were spiced up by the presence of Japanese distance specialist Masako Ishida, and the men’s races, as usual, by Andrew Musgrave of Great Britain.
|Competition||1st place||2nd place||3rd place||results|
|Women’s 10 k skate||Therese Johaug||Marit Bjørgen||Heidi Weng||Results|
|Men’s 15 k skate||Anders Glørsen||Hans Christer Holund||Sjur Røthe||Results|
|Women’s classic sprint||Ingvild Flugstad Østberg||Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes||Maiken Caspersen Falla||Results|
|Men’s classic sprint||Timo Andre Bakken||Sondre Turvoll Fossli||Emil Iversen||Results|
|Women’s 15 k skiathlon||Heidi Weng||Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen||Masako Ishida (Japan)||Results|
|Men’s 30 k skiathlon||Petter Northug||Niklas Dyrhaug||Didrik Tønseth||Results|
Good skiing at the championships could only go so far, though: Hans Christer Holund, a 25-year-old with just a handful of World Cup starts to his name since 2009, placed second in the 15 k skate interval start race. He was not, however, selected for World Championships.
Norway has a defending champion in all of the women’s events, and therefore will be allowed to field five racers to each event. In the sprint, the coaches have so far named four racers. Following the World Cup events in Östersund, Sweden, next weekend, the national team coaches will determine if Heidi Weng or Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes will be the fifth sprint racer in Falun.
2015 FIS World Championships team
Eirik Brandsdal, Kjelsås IL (sprint)
Niklas Dyrhaug, Tydal IL
Sondre Turvoll Fossli, Hokksund IL (sprint extra)
Anders Gløersen, Rustad IL
Ola Vigen Hattestad, Ørje IL (sprint)
Chris Jespersen, IL Korlevoll – Odda
Finn Hågen Krogh, Tverrelvdalen IL
Petter Northug, Strindheim IL
Tomas Northug, Strindheim IL (sprint)
Sjur Røthe, Voss IL
Martin Johnsrud Sundby, Røa IL
Didrik Tønseth, Byåsen IL
Marit Bjørgen, Rognes IL
Maiken Caspersen Falla, Gjerdum IL
Kari Vikhagen Gjeitnes, Henning Skilag
Ragnhild Haga, Åsen IL
Martine EK Hagen, IL i BUL
Astrid Jacobsen, IL Heming
Therese Johaug, Nansen IL
Celine Brun-Lie, Njård
Kristin Størmer Steira, Forsøk IL
Heidi Weng, IL i BUL
Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, Gjøvik Skiklubb
–Chelsea Little contributed reporting.
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.