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The third women’s cross country ski competition of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games featured a 10-kilometer interval start classic competition.
Starting as the second athlete in the seeded group in bib 36, Therese Johaug (NOR) set a high bar, her tempo quick and her breathing labored as she worked every meter of the course to finish in 28:06.3. The next two seeded bibs, both of Finland, served as her biggest threats for the win; at 6.3 k, Kerttu Niskanen was 11 seconds ahead of Johaug, with Krista Pärmäkoski just under 7 seconds behind.
In the final kilometers, Johaug and Niskanen’s times began to converge, with the leader uncertain through the finish. As Johaug stared at the clock, Niskanen double poled through the finish lanes, using her final energy for a final boot kick as she slid over the line 0.4 seconds behind Niskanen to earn the silver medal. Pärmäkoski held pace for third (+31.5).
Jessie Diggins was the top American skier in 8th (+1:08.8), with Rosie Brennan 13th (+1:22.3).
In her first Olympic appearance, 20-year-old Novie McCabe finished 24th (+2:28.6), with Hailey Swirbul just missing the top-30 in 32nd (+2:59.0).
Racing for Canada, Dahria Beatty had a standout performance to finish 18th (+1:53.9), with Katherine Stewart-Jones finishing as the next Canadian in 36th (+3:02.3). Cendrine Browne was 48th today (+3:41.6), while Olivia Bouffard Nesbitt rounded out the team’s results in 61st (+4:54.8).
Rachel is an endurance sport enthusiast based in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado. You can find her cruising around on skinny skis, running in the mountains with her pup, or chasing her toddler (born Oct. 2018). Instagram: @bachrunner4646