Both the Norwegian men’s and women’s teams tasted home ground success in the cross country ski world cup race at Drammen on Wednesday afternoon. Norwegians powered home in first and second position in both of the sprint finals.
The race was held on artificial snow through the city streets. Cheering crowds lined the footpaths as Maiken Caspersen Falla edged out ski queen Marit Bjørgen in the women’s sprint. Sweden’s Stina Nilsson finished third, while the other Norwegian in the race, Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, came fourth.
In the men’s final, Ola Vigen Hattestad and Pål Golberg threw their bodies across the line, with Hattestad clinching victory just seven hundredths of a second ahead. Italian Maicol Rastelli came third. There was drama for the Norwegian men in the semi final heats, when Eirik Brandsdal and Finn Hågen Krogh’s skis became entangled at the start. Both were knocked out of the race.
“I’ll take the blame, and I would rather have taken someone other than Eirik,” Krogh told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) after the race. The men’s Drammen race has been won by Norwegians nine times in its 10-year history, with only Sweden’s Emil Jönsson breaking the streak in 2010.