Norwegians dominate the ‘Tour de Ski’

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Norwegians are once again dominating the gruelling Tour de Ski long-distance races in the Alps, with Martin Johnsrud Sundby leading the men and fellow Norwegian Petter Northug close behind. Another Norwegian, Didrik Tønseth, has been right behind Northug with five more races ahead.

As the skiers took a rare day of rest on Monday, Norwegian women were also in the lead but with surprises over the weekend. Therese Johaug had been dominating as expected, but on Sunday her teammate Ingvild Flugstad Østberg “proved that Johaug is human,” joked commentators. Østberg suddenly surged ahead of Johaug and won the five-kilometer pursuit, even imitating Johaug’s customary behaviour at the finish line by plopping down and screaming “JA! (YES!)”

On Saturday, Østberg had finished second, with Johaug winning and Heidi Weng taking third place for another pure Norwegian sweep of the winners’ podium. The Tour de Ski ended at the same time abruptly and somewhat frighteningly, meanwhile, for their Norwegian teammate Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen. After experiencing breathing problems, Jacobsen collapsed at the finish line in 11th place and continued to lie motionless for several minutes. It took another half-hour before she was able to walk out of the stadium, after an emergency medical exam at the scene.

Coach Egil Kristiansen told reporters that Jacobsen had experienced such problems during training as well, and he initially thought she could continue racing in Tour de Ski. On Sunday she dropped out of the race, however, and headed home to Oslo. “We have evaluated the situation  and she’s still exhausted after her hard run (the 15-kilometer race on Saturday),” team doctor Fredrik Bendiksen told new bureau NTB.

newsinenglish.no staff