Marit Bjoergen (NOR), Justyna Kowalczyk (POL), Natalia Matveeva (RUS) (l-r)
Ola Vigen Hattestadt (NOR, Dario Cologna (SUI), Eirik Brandsdal (NOR) (l-r)
FISCHER SKIER DOMINATE SPRINT RACES IN OTEPÄÄ
Fischer skiers dominated sprint races in Otepää. Victories went to Justyna Kowalczyk (POL, Fischer skis and boots) and Dario Cologna (SUI, Fischer), the podium was firmly in Fischer-hands in both races.
Kowalczyk beats Bjoergen
It became an exciting duel in the final. Es wurde ein spannendes Duell im Finale. Marit Bjoergen (NOR, Fischer Ski und Schuhe) as well as Justyna Kowalczyk showed a convincing performance in the qualification and the heats and controlled their races. In the semi final Bjoergens energy was used up and she was passed by two opponents in the final stretch - the Norwegian had a lot of good luck and she was qualified for the final just as Lucky Looser. In the final Justyna Kowalczyk always was ahead and controlled the race while Bjoergen was in her wind shadow during the whole race. In the final stretch Kowalczyk secured victory ahead of Bjoergen, Natalia Matveeva (RUS, Fischer) came in third. "I
like Otepää very much. I feel like home here it's an amazing place for
me. My shape has been very good. After Tour de Ski I was only resting in
my bed. Now I'm feeling better and better", said Kowalczyk. Katerina Smutna (AUT, Fischer) showed a great performance during the whole day and finished fifth. Kikkan Randall (USA, Fischer) had to be satisfied with rank nine today followed by Katja Visnar (SLO, Fischer skis and boots), Kerttu Niskanen (FIN, Fischer skis and boots) and Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR, Fischer).
Dario Cologna showed great races and dominated all of them. In the qualification he was sensationally more than four seconds ahead of all his opponents and his dominance continued in the heats. In the final he celebrated his second ever sprint World Cup win ahead of the Norwegians Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR, Fischer skis and boots) and Eirik Brandsdal (NOR, Fischer). "It
was a perfect day for me. I had a good qualification and I got
self-confidence for the heats. It was a great day for me. I'have been in
good shape and recovered well from Tour de Ski. I hope I will ski fast
and make a good result tomorrow. There are still many races to go before
the end of the World Cup. It will be nice to win the Overall world Cup
agai", said Cologna. Alex Harvey (CAN, Fischer) shortly missed the podium and Andrew Newell (USA, Fischer) failed in qualifying for the final in seventh.