Nikolai Morilov (RUS), Devon Kershaw (CAN), Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR) (l-r)
Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR)
Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR), Ida Ingemarsdotter (SWE), Kikkan Randall (USA)
EXCITING SPRINT RACES IN SZKLARSKA POREBA: KERSHAW SECURES VICTORY
Free sprint races in Szklarska Poreba were very exciting. Often the athletes tumbled or made tactical mistakes. Therefor Devon Kershaw (CAN, Fischer) was able to celebrate his second World Cup victory this season.
Randall tumbles and finishes third
Kikkan Randall (USA, Fischer) showed a great performance after she was in bad shape after Tour de Ski and stomach problems last week. It seemed to become another sprint victory during quarter- and semifinal but in the final the American tumbled and dropped back. She continued fighting and closed the gap due to a slow pace and sprinted for victory. Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR, Fischer) finished second ahead of Randall after a photo finish decision. Fourth went to Laure Barthelemy (FRA, Fischer skis and boots) who lost her first podium outcome at the last metres. Astrid Jacobsen (NOR, Fischer skis and boots) came in fifth followed by Natalia Matveeva (RUS, Fischer). Eighth came to Vesna Fabjan (SLO, Fischer), Alena Prochazkova (SVK, Fischer) and Alenka Cebasek (SLO, Fischer) finished tenth and twelfth.
The favorites with local hero Justyna Kowalczyk (POL, Fischer skis and boots) and Marit Bjoergen (NOR, Fischer skis and boots) failed early in the race during the quarterfinals finishing third and fifth in a strong heat. In Sprint World Cup Kikkan Randall reigned supreme.
Kershaw benefits of Russian faux pas
Nearly nobody reckoned with Devon Kershaw's victory in men's final - accept himself. Russian Morilov was far ahead and seemed to be the safe winner but the Canadian benefitted of a faux pas of him. The Russian turned around round about ten metres before finish to his right side and noone was close behind him. He cheered for victory and lost sight of Kershaw who was on his left side. The Canadian was able to celebrate victory.
Third went to Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR, Fischer skis and boots) ahead of Matias Strandvall (FIN, Fischer). The fastest man in prologue, Anders Gloeersen (NOR, Fischer), finished in sixth. Dario Cologna (SUI, Fischer) came in eigth while Eirik Brandsdal (NOR, Fischer) finished tenth. Maxim Vylegzhanin (RUS, Fischer) and Alexei Petukhov (RUS, Fischer skis and boots) were ranked eleventh and twelfth.