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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Sports stars Haaland and Johaug excel again

Norwegian athletes had a good weekend in a wide range of sports, but no one attracted as much media coverage as the 19-year-old football player Erling Braut Haaland. He made history in the highly ranked German Bundesleague for scoring five goals in his first two matches for his new club, Borussia Dortmund.

“This is fantastic,” Haaland himself told his local newspaper back home, Stavanger Aftenblad, after the match when he was otherwise shielded from massive media attention. “It’s what you dream about when you’re young.”

Haaland made a smashing debut last weekend with a “hat trick” (three goals in the same match) against Augsburg, and then followed it up with two more goals on Saturday against Cologne. Both performances came after he started on the bench and was then swapped in later in the match.

Haaland claims he doesn’t mind being a benchwarmer in the beginning: “We follow a plan, and this has been the plan all along,” he told Stavanger Aftenblad. “When I sit on the bench, I just get even more motivated to deliver. I managed to do that (again) and it’s absolutely fantastic.” Not least when you perform like that in front of 81,365 spectators in Dortmund’s stadium.

The crowds were much smaller, meanwhile, for Norway’s cross-country skiing star Therese Johaug, but she skied her way to another clear victory in the World Cup on Saturday. She knew she was the favourite heading into the season and she hasn’t disappointed, not least at Oberstdorf during the weekend.

It was her 12th victory so far this year, this time in a 15-kilometer skiathlon race. Commentators said she had full control, also over her main rival and teammate Ingvild Flugstad Østberg, who finished second. Johaug remains the clear favourite to win the overall World Cup later this winter. staff



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