2017/02/23

Maiken Caspersen Falla becomes sprint World Champion

Maiken Caspersen Falla (NOR, Fischer skis and boots) secured the first gold medal of the Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti (FIN). The Norwegian won the final of the cross-country sprint in free style, Kikkan Randall (USA, Fischer skis and boots) won bronze. Sergey Ustiugov (RUS, Fischer skis and boots) was beaten shortly, Johannes Høsflot Klæbo (NOR, Fischer skis and boots) secured bronze.

It would have been such an exciting duel in the final between Maiken Caspersen Falla and Stina Nilsson (SWE, Fischer), which everything had expected. But the Swede already had problems in the semifinal to improve in her heat and then she used the sledgehammer approach. The Swede attacked outside in the finish corner and then went inside with cutting the wax of Natalia Matveeva (RUS, Fischer) and both crashed. So the way was free for the only favourite in the final, Maiken Caspersen Falla, who pushed hard sovereignly from the front. She won with a few metres lead, but she had a different feeling: "I can not believe it, I'm happy, what a great day. The skis were great and the conditions very soft, but the tactics went on. in the last corner I thought, the others are right behind me and I saw Jessie Diggins behind me, so I skied a high pace until the end." Even bigger than the winner's celebration was the jubilation of the American women who managed it t finish on the podium with two girls. Kikkan Randall returned with a surprising medal with rising shape. She was still in fourth place on the beginning of the finish straight, but had the better finish. So the jubilation in the American team was great. Sophie Caldwell (USA, Fischer skis and boots) was sixth and was happy with celebrating with her compatriots.

=> Sprint Women Lahti (FIN)

The Russian Sergey Ustiugov, who had dominated the qualification as Maiken Caspersen Falla with a two-second lead, immediately set a fast pace in the final and skied everything from the lead. In the second climb of the men's lap Federico Pellegrino attacked and moved up to second place and together with Ustiugov and Klæbo he was able to open a small gap to Krogh. Sergey Ustiugov gave everything in the final sprint but was narrowly beaten by the Italian. Sergey Ustiugov and Johannes Høsflot Klæbo were visibly disappointed, but the youngster was the first to congratulate the new World Champion, soon after also Ustiugov shook hands with the winner. Finn Hågen Krogh (NOR, Fischer) finished fourth. After the attack in the second climb the defending champion Petter Northug (NOR, Fischer) and Ristomatti Hakola (FIN, Fischer skis and boots) were defeated. For both the final participation was a great success. The Finnish Hakola came to the final in front of his home crowd with a perfect, but not really on the level team tactics. As obviously previously discussed, Martti Jylhä (FIN) slowed the pace in the semifinal in the middle of the last hairpin from third spot and held the others. So his team mate Ristomatti Hakola was able to escape with Krogh.

=> Sprint Men Lahti (FIN)

=> Check out the Fischer medal tracker

Athletes in This Article

Kikkan Randall

Kikkan
Randall

United States