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Monday, July 15, 2024

Skiers back in World Cup lead

Norwegian ski queen Marit Bjørgen remained a favorite in the race for the Nordic skiing World Cup this year after scoring two more victories over the weekend. Meanwhile, biathlon legend Ole Einar Bjørndalen won his first World Cup event in more than a year, and was jubilant as well.

Marit Bjørgen is back in winning form, just like she was last year. PHOTO: Views and News

Bjørgen took back the leader’s vest on Saturday, when she won a 15-kilometer event in World Cup competition at Nove Mesto in the Czech Republic. She skied well past her arch rival Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland and then she and her teammates won the relay on Sunday.

She shared that victory with Vibeke Skofterud, Therese Johaug and Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen, who had laid a great foundation for Bjørgen who then powered past the other racers and literally paraded into the stadium.

Bjørgen has now had more than 50 World Cup victories. “I’m very satisfied,” Bjørgen told reporters. “I’ve been having some trouble with classic technique all season, but today it was good. This is the best I’ve done all season.”

Petter Northug also did well in the relay on Sunday, after only placing 14th in the 30-kilometer men’s race on Saturday. Northug also revealed that he didn’t agree with his coach’s evaluation that he was getting weary of his own celebrity, claiming he was fit and keen to keep skiing at the highest levels for many years.

Meanwhile, biathlon star Bjørndalen firmly refuses to retire. At the age of 38, he won another World Cup competition in Kontiolahti, Finland. It was his first victory since December 5, 2010 and very sweet indeed.

“Now I’m on the right path,” he told reporters after he event. “I had a good feeling from when I woke up until I was at the starting line. I’ve felt good all week.”

Bjørndalen has a long list of Olympic medals, World Championships and World Cup victories behind him and commentators said he can’t be written off until he actually retires. And he’s unlikely to do that until after the next Winter Olympics in Russia in 2014.

Views and News staff



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