Marit Bjoergen (NOR), Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR)
Ida Ingemarsdotter (SWE), Marit Bjoergen (NOR), Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR) (l-r)
Petter Northug (NOR), Nikita Kriukov (RUS), Alex Harvey (CAN) (l-r)
MARIT BJOERGEN DEFEATS HER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE IN CLASSICAL SPRINT IN VAL DI FIEMME
Marit Bjoergen (NOR, Fischer skis and boots) secured her first World Championship title at Nordic Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme. Oslo 2011 Sprint champion triumphated again in an important race.
Marit Bjoergen wins ten years after her first big win
Ten years after her first triumph at Nordic Ski Championships 2003 in Val di Fiemme Marit Bjoergen did it again: As in 2003 at the same place she won sprint gold in a superior manner. "It is incredible, I am very satisfied. First I thought it will become very very hard and I wasn't feeling that good but my skis were great and my waxing team did a great job", Bjoergen said. "My shape is very good and a good start into the World Champs is very important but we will see how it goes." The 2001 defending sprint champion secured an unchallenged victory ahead of Ida Ingemarsdotter (SWE). Bronce medal went to Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR, Fischer) who kept the pace up for a long time in the final heat and the 22-year-old is now in the same age as her team mate in 2003 when she won her first gold. Katja Visnar (SLO, Fischer skis and boots) showed her strongest performance this winter and finished fourth followed by Stina Nilsson (SWE, Fischer), reigning junior World Champion in the same style. The Swede who had a lot of bad luck during her heats this winter closed with Justyna Kowalczyk (POL, Fischer skis and boots) in the uphill. The Polish who came in only sixth got her pole caught on Nilsson and fell. Although she was able to close the gap there were not enough energies left for the final sprint.
Northug beaten in the final heat
After the impressions of the heats Emil Jönsson (SWE, Fischer skis and boots) and Petter Northug (NOR, Fischer) seemed to be the strongest athletes in the final who seemed to be the favorites for gold medal until the last uphill. Then the time has come for Nikita Kriukov (RUS) who was able to beat Petter Northug for the second time this season in classical sprint. The Norwegian finished second, Jönsson even missed a medal after his strong performances. He was edged out in the final sprint by Alex Harvey (CAN, Fischer) who sensationally reached bronce after a weak winter. Eirik Brandsdal (NOR, Fischer) had no chance to fight for the medals and came in sixth.