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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Northug out for the season

UPDATED: Petter Northug didn’t take part in the Nordic skiing World Cup competition at Holmenkollen in Oslo last weekend, nor could he race in Wednesday’s sprint competition in Drammen. Now comes confirmation that Northug’s World Cup season is over, mostly because of tummy trouble.

Petter Northug wanted to ski at Holmenkollen again this year, but is feeling well enough to take part. PHOTO: Tore Afdal

His managers reported earlier that Northug fell ill during a gathering in Italy recently and had to travel home. He’s been suffering from a stomach ailment that simply didn’t get better.

Now they say Northug isn’t in shape for competition, and that he’s dropping out of the World Cup finale in Sweden this weekend.

“I talked to him yesterday, he made the decision this morning,” Northug’s press spokesman Otto Ulseth, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

Northug had to cancel his participation in the Vasaloppet in Sweden, too, and had been especially  looking forward to racing in the 50-kilometer race at Holmenkollen, which he won at last year’s World Championships.

Northug also had been hoping to ski  in Sweden but “he hasn’t been able to train properly,” Ulseth told NRK on Tuesday.

“He doesn’t feel fit yet,” said skiing team leader Vidar Løfshus last week. “Then there’s no point in tempting fate.”

Dario Cologna has already won the World Cup, even before the world’s top skiers gather in Falun in central Sweden, and Devon Kershaw was favoured for the silver. That left Northug with the prospect of third-place ahead of Alexander Legkov of Russia, a major downturn from last year’s World Championship victories.

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