Saturday Rundown: Lahti and Osrblie (Updated x2)

FasterSkierFebruary 25, 2017
The women’s 15 k skiathlon podium at 2017 Nordic World Championships, with Norway’s Marit Bjørgen (c) in first, Finland’s Krista Parmakoski (l) in second, and Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla (r) in third on Saturday in Lahti, Finland. (Photo: FIS Cross-Country/Twitter)

FIS Nordic World Championships (Lahti, Finland): 15/30 k skiathlons 

This one’s for you, kid.

Marit Bjørgen became the second relatively new mom to medal in the second race of 2017 Nordic World Championships on Saturday (after American Kikkan Randall earned bronze in Thursday’s freestyle sprint), racking up her 15th World Championships gold in women’s 15-kilometer skiathlon in Lahti, Finland. Bjørgen, a 36-year-old Norwegian team veteran, had her first child a little over a year ago.

In her first full season back, she led Saturday’s 7.5 k classic + 7.5 k freestyle race at the halfway point, where she clicked into her skate skis half a second ahead of Finland’s Krista Parmakoski in second. Parmakoski followed her across the finish for silver, finishing 4.8 seconds off Bjørgen’s winning time of 37:57.5 minutes. For Parmakoski, it was her first individual medal at World Championships after having previously earned four in team events.

Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla picked up her fourth-career World Championships medal in third place (+32.0), and Nathalie von Siebenthal placed fourth (+1:05) for the best result for a Swiss female cross-country skier since since Evi Kratzer earned bronze in 1987 in Oberstdorf, Germany.

Von Siebenthal edged Norway’s Heidi Weng in a photo finish, with Weng finishing another tenth of a second back in fifth (+1:05.1). Right behind them, Austria’s Teresa Stadlober notched sixth (+1:05.4), Russia’s Yulia Tchekaleva seventh (+1:05.7), Norway’s Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen eighth (+1:11.1), Russia’s Anastasia Sedova ninth (+1:15.3), and Japan’s Masako Ishida 10th (+1:21.8).

Two Americans finished in the top 20 with Randall leading them in 17th (+2:09.2) and Liz Stephen placing 20th (+2:12.4). Rosie Brennan cracked the top 30 in 28th (+3:03.2) and Jessie Diggins did not finish.

A World Championships rookie, Cendrine Browne led Canada in 35th (+4:15.5), followed by Emily Nishikawa in 38th (+4:29.3) and Katherine Stewart-Jones in 40th (+4:38.1).

Annika Taylor, a 23-year-old California native who races for Great Britain, finished 41st (+4:49.7). She previously placed 38th in the freestyle sprint qualifier for her best result at her first World Championships.

The men’s Nordic World Championships 30 k skiathlon podium, with Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov (c) in first, Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby (l) in second and Finn Hågen Krogh (r) in third on Saturday in Lahti, Finland. (Photo: FIS Cross-Country/Twitter)

The men’s 30 k skiathlon that followed boiled down to a two-way battle for first between none other than Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov and Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby. The two traded off leading throughout much of the race and together gapped the field around the 20 k mark.

Over the next 10 k, Ustiugov continued to drive the pace. On a pivotal climb less than two minutes before the finish, Sundby attacked, jump skating and seeming to put the hurt on Ustiugov. But that moment was over before it started when Sundby broke his pole against his ski tip and had to stop for a replacement.

The 24-year-old Ustiugov skied away to the win, uncontested yet powering down the finishing stretch to claim his first World Championships gold in 1:09:16.7 hours. He had previously earned bronze with the Russian men’s relay in 2013.

Sundby finished 6.7 seconds later, dropping his arms and head toward the ground as he did so. Norway’s Finn Hågen Krogh came out on top of a five-way fight for third, finishing fourth (+33.1), 31.8 seconds behind Ustiugov and 1.3 seconds ahead of his teammate Sjur Røthe. Krogh put himself in front and proved to have the most finishing kick, ahead of Røthe, Canada’s Alex Harvey (fifth, +33.3), Norway’s Didrik Tønseth (sixth, +33.5), and Sweden’s Marcus Hellner (seventh, +33.7). Russia’s Andrey Larkov fell off the group’s pace and placed eighth (+36.1), Finland’s Lari Lehtonen was ninth (+37.2), and Italy’s 24-year-old World Championships rookie Giandomenico Salvadori broke through in 10th (+37.3).

Three Canadians started the race, with Graeme Killick finishing 47th (+6:23.5) and Knute Johnsgaard 55th (+8:40.2) out of 63.

Tad Elliott was the top American man in 48th (+7:11.2), Kyle Bratrud (+7:16.5) placed 49th and Noah Hoffman 57th (+9:33.6). Ben Lustgarten did not start.

Results: Women | Men


IBU Youth/Junior World Championships (Osrblie, Slovakia): Junior sprints

[UPDATED] Canada’s Megan Bankes and American Siena Ellingson landed in the top 20 of the junior women’s 7.5-kilometer sprint on Saturday at 2017 International Biathlon Union (IBU) Junior World Championships in Osrblie, Slovakia. Coming off a victory in Thursday’s 12.5 k individual, Bankes placed 13th and Ellingson achieved her best non-relay result in 18th at her fourth Youth/Junior Worlds.

Italy’s Michela Carrara won the sprint in 20:57.8 minutes with clean shooting (0+0) and the second-fastest course time. Norway’s Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold skied the fastest but came up 15.2 seconds short of gold with one prone penalty (1+0), which put her in second place. France’s Myrtille Bègue reached the podium in third (+31.5) with perfect shooting (0+0), and Austria’s Simone Kupfner shot clean as well for fourth place (+40.8), 9.3 seconds out of third.

Bankes was one of the first out of the gate in bib 4 and missed one on each stage (1+1) and skied the 14th-ranked course time. She ultimately finished 13th (+1:25.3) for her second-best result at her fourth Youth/Junior World Championships.

Ellingson started 19th and cleaned prone before missing one in standing (0+1), to finish 18th (+1:38.7) with the 20th-ranked course time.

Canada’s Nadia Moser scored her first top 40 of these championships in 31st (+2:16.4) with two misses (1+1), her teammate Emily Dickson finished 47th (+3:15.8) with one prone miss (1+0), and the second American racing, Nina Armstrong finished 65th (+6:11.5) with five penalties (2+3).

Russia had two on the podium in Saturday’s junior men’s 10 k sprint at IBU Junior World Championships with Igor Malinovskii (c) in first and Kirill Streltsov (l) in second, sharing the podium with Kazakhstan’s Roman Yeremin (r) in third in Osrblie, Slovakia. (Photo: IBU)

In the junior men’s 10 k sprint, Russia took the two top steps of the podium with Igor Malinovskii in first and Kirill Streltsov in second, after both cleaned the two-stage race.

Malinovskii started later in the field in bib 60 (out of 86) and bested his teammate’s time by 12.2 seconds, finishing in 24:32.2 minutes. Streltsov, who had started 51st and led until that point, took silver and Kazakhstan’s Roman Yeremin notched bronze (+24.9). Despite two misses on his first prone stage (2+0), Yeremin was an early race leader after starting 10th. He bested the time of Belarus’s Anton Smolski, who started fifth, by just 0.2 seconds for third. Smolski settled for fourth, ahead of Germany’s David Zobel (who previously took silver in Thursday’s 15 k individual) in fifth (+38.2).

Cody Johnson was the top American in 46th (+3:02.9), followed by Travis Cooper in 49th (+3:10.7), Cameron Christiansen in 80th (+5:32.4), and Peter Carroll in 82nd (+5:51.6).

Pearce Hanna led the Canadian men in 47th (+3:04.1), ahead of Trevor Kiers in 48th (+3:06.6), Zachari Bolduc in 54th (+3:25.4), and Jules Burnotte in 55th (+3:31.2).

Youth/Junior World Championships continue Sunday with the youth men’s and women’s pursuits.

Results: Junior women | Junior men


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