Wednesday in Seefeld, Austria was the day to pace yourself into the 2019 Nordic Ski World Championships.
No Jessie Diggins or Alex Harvey toed the line in today’s distance qualifiers, a 5-kilometer classic for the women a 10 k classic for the men. For those skiers without the minimum International Ski Federation (FIS) distance points, qualification races are an opportunity to earn start spots in the championship’s distance events. (Athletes racing on Wednesday have not met the FIS distance point minimum in the last 365 days in at least one race: 90 FIS points in distance for men, 120 distance points for women.)
So here’s what was up for grabs in Seefeld today. The top-ten finishers from each respective qualifier earned starts in Seefeld’s upcoming interval start, skiathlon, and mass start races.
Racers advancing as a result of a top-ten result still count towards a nation’s team quota. But regular nations on the World Cup, say a Norway or the U.S., have enough athletes well below the FIS point standard to not enter athletes in the qualification races.
In the women’s 5 k classic, China’s Honglian Meng won in a time of 15:57.0 minutes. Second place was secured by Brazil’s Jaqueline Mourao who finished 30 seconds back. Mourao has represented Brazil as an Olympian in mountain biking, cross-country, and biathlon. According to FIS, this is Mourao’s seventh appearance at a World Nordic Ski Championships.
Third place went to Australia’s Katerina Paul (+42.5).
Rounding out the non-traditional nordic nation vibe were Mongolia in fourth and sixth place, Turkey in fifth, Iceland in seventh, Greece in eighth, and Croatia with a ninth and tenth.
Belgium’s Thibault De Marre placed first in the men’s 10 k classic with a time of 27:56.7 minutes. In second was Thailand’s Mark Chanloung finishing 13.1 seconds back. Albert Jonsson of Iceland skied to third (+28.5).
Skiers from Argentina, Hungry, Iceland, Bulgaria, Argentina, Ireland, and Mongolia finished fourth through tenth.