Fall spoiled Pedersen’s dream of gold
Sverre Lunde Pedersen stumbled and fell on the 10,000 metre in Amsterdam. With that he lost the lead and had to make do up with the silver at the all-world World Championships on skates.
The Fana athlete had the gold deep in his pocket, but a dip in concentration stopped him from becoming Norway’s first world champion all-round since Johann Olav Koss in 1994. The fall happened just before he crossed the 6,800 metres mark.
Pedersen got back on his feet again and fought fiercely. For a while, he seemed to be able to take overall victory despite his fall, but it became too tough in the last couple of rounds. Dutchman Patrick Roest “stole” the gold with 0.394 time points in front of the Norwegian.
– Dette var det eneste jeg ikke trodde kunne skje. Jeg skjønte at jeg tapte der, så jeg prøvde bare å gå det jeg klarte inn til mål. Men det var ikke nok. Dette er så bittert som du får det, sa Pedersen til NRK.
Instead of a long-awaited victory for Norwegian ice skating, the Netherlands could cheer for being triumphant in the World Championships for the seventh consecutive year. It was very popular with the more than 18,000 present at the Amsterdam outdoors arena.
– This was hard to swallow. Sverre had the victory half way down his pocket, but was unlucky and fell. I do not know what happened. He was almost won even with a fall. This is hurtful, says national team coach, Sondre Skarli, to NRK.
– I feel with Sverre. Everybody knows that he is the moral winner. He pulverizes the rest of the field. I’m proud of the way he gets up and tries. He is an athlete who ought to get the price at the sports galla as the idol of the year, leave Skarli.
Was in control
Pedersen can be satisfied to beat last year’s champion Sven Kramer in the same pair on the 10,000 metres. He did that despite of the fall. The Norwehgian was over the finishing line with 14.00.60 against Kramer’s 14.05.70. That was sufficient for the fifth place on the distance.
Kramer broke down completely and dropped to fourth place overall.
From before, Pedersen possesed silver (2015) and bronze (2016) at the all-round World Championships.
It was on Sunday’s 1,500 metres that Pedersen obtained a solid grip on the World Championships title. The 25-year-old from Os delivered a time of 1.48.33 and thereby took over the lead overall. He was in a class of his own and won the distance 1.54 seconds in front of Roest.
At the same time he knocked Kramer out of contention. The star looked beaten when he saw what Pedersen delivered. He ended up fourth (1.50.62) on the 1,500 metre.
Thus, Pedersen had seven seconds on Roest before the fourth and final distance while Kramer was 16 seconds behind.
Unfortunately for Pedersen and Norwegian skating, he did not stay on his feet when everything was decided.
Bøkko number nine
Pedersen was behind Roest with 0.124 time points after Saturday’s two distances. He started the World Championships with fifth fastest time (37.42) on the 500 metre. A few hours later Pedersen won the 5,000 metres in pouring rain.
For the first time in his career, he managed to beat arch rival Kramer on the distance. He achieved that with 6.33.81 before 28,000 enthustiatic spectators. Pedersen has often been criticized for breaking down in the last round, but on Saturday night he never hit the so called wall.
Håvard Bøkko clocked in at 1.51.60 on the 1,500 metre on Sunday. It was enough for 8th place. He was not among the eight athletes allowed to attend the last distance. Overall, the athlete from Hol ended in ninth place.
For Simen Spieler Nilsen it ended in 14th place on the third and his final World Championships distance. He was over the finishing line at 1.53.30 and became number 12 overall.
Golden Maren is celebrated after another demonstration of power
Noone were close to Maren Lundby in Holmenkollen. After victory at home, the congratulations poured in.
– The best ever season for a Norwegian ski jumper. We could not have a better front figure for the sport. She is not just a front figure for the female jumpers , but for all Norwegian jumpers, both nationally and internationally. She appears as a integrity impersonated, says overall leader for Norwegian ski jumping, Clas Brede Bråthen.
– Then we must accept that she’s being bitchy towards the Sports Manager at times, continues the former World Cup participant.
One of the largest
Ski President Erik Røste is greatly impressed by what the Bøverbru woman has achieved this season.
– Maren crowns a fantastic season with both Olympic gold and the World Cup overall with victory in Holmenkollen. A win in Holmenkollen is one of the largest objectives a Norwegian ski jumper can achieve. Extra impressive is to be able to keep focus after all that has happened in recent weeks. Congratulations, says Røste to NTB.
Impressed Minister of Culture
Minister of Culture,Trine Skei Grande, awarded the prizes after Sunday’s competition.
– It’s amazing with 134 meters in the 1st run. It just shows how stupid it is that the girls do not participate on the same terms as the guys, Grande says.
-Maren is a great person and a great athlete, but also has a wonderful ideology which is behind the way she approach the sport. She wants to lift the other Norwegian girls as well. I’m sure Maren will help many Norwegian girls to the podium places in the years to come. Olympic gold, World Cup overall and the whole package deal. Maren Lundby is one of our major sports stars, Grande says to NTB.
Would have gone out as the first in the Nordic combined
Tore Øvregård, development manager in the Norwegian Ski Federation, went ballistic after Lundby landed on 134 meters in the 1st run in Holmenkollen on Sunday.
– To put Maren Lundby’s jump in perspective: if she had participated in the mens Nordic combined event yesterday, she had been first on the track in front of Jarl Riiber She jumped from one step higher than Jarl, but obtained the same inrun speed and suffered from slightly worse conditions, he said.
The Nordic combined athlete was not offended and was among the first to press the ‘like’ option on Facebook.
Bjørgen believes too much alcohol is involved
Marit Bjørgen, 37, had preferred to have participated in the party on Saturday, but that she would not want to bring her son Marius (2) along.
After a rebound seldom experienced, she took the victory in Sunday’s 30 kilometre cross country race, but she would have preferred have a start number as the party was its height with 100,000 spectators attending on Saturday.
That’s how it used to be. Then both the 30K for women and the 50K for men were arranged on the same day.
– I’m for that everybody compete on the Saturday. It’s better atmosphere then. We have proposed it several times, but have not been heard, says Bjørgen.
At the same time, she is aware that not everything was rosy on the day of the party.
– There were many more people at Frognerseteren yesterday than today, but those who attended today was probably more interested in the cross country skiing.
Bjørgen did not like what happened after the competition was over.
– It has maybe evolved into to much consumption of alcohol by some. That is a bit sad. I experience that you can not bring small children along. That will not do. I had not brought Marius up there as it was yesterday, and not in the least when everyone left the area at the same time.
She believes that better preparation is the key.
– I do not like to think about what happened yesterday, and maybe it has gone a little bit head over heels. As it evolved, somebody has to tighten the arrangement. One has to be better prepared for more than 100,000 attending.
– I’ve seen the trend for some years that people move their parties up here, and then you have to prepare for that, says Bjørgen.
Sunday’s competition was a bit like Bjørgen has been through much of the season. She opened relatively calmly and increased the pace later on. The stroke of genius on her part happened after 13 kilometres. She then swapped her skis while the trio up front: Jessica Diggins, Charlotte Kalla and Ragnhild Haga did not do so.
– I heard that we were between 20 and 30 seconds behind on the next to last round and that they had not swapped their skis. When I saw that they did not change before the last round, I was 20 seconds behind at the stadium and I knew that my skis were better than theirs. Towards the chapel I was at their backs, and on my way down I thought I must take advantage of the fact that my skis were performing better. Then I gained a few metres on them immediately, says Bjørgen.
Bjørgen made short work of the race on the very last kilometres. At the finishing line, Jessica Diggins was number two and Ragnhild Haga number three.
Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla ended outside the podium in fourth place.
– I switched to my best pair, and for my part that was an advantage. Had the three in front changed too, I think they had made it. To the finish I lost them when I changed skis, and I knew I had to reel them back in, but also that I could take seconds from the top of the hill and down to the stadium. It’s very motivating to see that you’re gaining more and more, says Bjørgen, who was more tired than usual at the finish.
It took several minutes before she managed to get back on her feet.
During the press conference, she spoke and answered questions almost as if she had decided to attend the World Championships in Seefeld next winter, but she denies to have made a decision yet.
– I decide after Easter. I have to find out if I have the motivation required to fight in the top, says the 37-year-old.
Next weekend there are three more races in Falun.
– I would like to deliver there as well.
Total collapse for the Norwegian men in Kontiolahti
Johannes Thingnes Bø collapsed on the shooting range and got five penalty rounds on Sunday’s joint start in biathlon in Kontiolahti, Finland. Julian Eberhard beat Martin Fourcade in the end.
Johannes Thingnes Bø and Ole Einar Bjørndalen achieved full houses at the first shooting, but after that it went sour for the Norwegian biathletes.
Thingnes Bø ended up with five penalty rounds, and ended up as number 19, beaten by 13 seconds by Norway’s best athlete, Henrik L’Abée-Lund. The latter ended up with four penalty rounds in 18th place.
Thingnes Bøs’s weak result made Martin Fourcade take a grip on the overall World Cup. The Frenchman ended up as number two, only beaten by the German, Julian Eberhard.
Bad cross country form
Tarjei Bø crossed the finishing line just behind his little brother with three penalty rounds less. Tarjei Bø showed weak form in the track on Saturday’s mixed relay, and did not seem to be rid of the bad feeling the following day.
Lars Helge Birkeland was number 25 with three misses, while Erlend Bjøntegaard and Ole Einar Bjørndalen followed in 27th and 28th place. The duo ended up five and six misses respectively.
Arnd Peiffer shot on the first target in the last shoting after three full houses, but the German collapsed and laid the table for Martin Fourcade. The Frenchman thanked, shot a full house and was followed by Anton Sjipulin in the last round.
The duo was taken over by Julian Eberhard towards the end, and when Sjipulin went down in a hill just before the finish line, Eberhard used the opportunity to distance Fourcade and secure the win. The Frenchman made a comeback after a short illness.
Johansson is junior world champion
In his last year as a junior, Allan Dahl Johansson finished off with the title in the all-round world championships skating in Salt Lake City.
Johansson ble juniorverdensmester foran Tyson Langelaar fra Canada og italienske Francesco Betti.
Johansson laid the foundation for the title with victory on the 1,500 metres and second places on the 1,000 and 5,000 metres.
On the 1,000 metres, Johansson possese the world record for juniors for a few minutes before Koki Kubo from Japan beat his time in a later pair.
Ragne Wiklund became number ten among the girls. She ended by setting a personal record of 4.15.15 at the 3,000 metres.
As of next season, Allan Dahl Johansson is a senior.
Biathlon: Olsbu in sixth, Hinz surprised
The German biathlete Vanessa Hinz surprised with her first world cup victory at the joint start in Kontiolahti. Marte Olsbu came in sixth place.
Hinz is in her sixth season in the World Cup. On Sunday she took her first win after four full houses and good speed in the track in the Finnish woods. The German cheered out loud and bowed to the audience as she crossed the finishing line in Kontiolahti.
Hinz, Italian Lisa Vittozzi and French Anaïs Chevalier came to the final shoot together. Hinz turned out to be the strongest. Vittozzi and Chevalier missed once each. The two came in as number two and three respectively on the 12.5 kilometer long distance. The home favourite Kaisa Mäkäräinen had to settle for fourth place 48.6 seconds behind. Then followed Swedish Hanna Öberg (1.02.1 behind) and Olsbu.
Marte Olsbu had three misses in total. She had one miss at the first shooting, but then followed up with two full houses. On the last standing shoot there came two more misses. the way therefore became too steep. She ended up 1.07.4 behind the German winner at the finish.
– Marte had the chance of a podium place before the last shoot, but failed to withstand the pressure, says NRK biathlete expert, Ola Lunde.
Olsbu and Synnøve Solemdal were the only Norwegian at the starting line-up. Solemdal opened with two full houses, but missed four times in total. It was only enough for 28th place, 3.16.9 behind Hinz.
The biathletes next challenge will be the World Cup in Holmenkollen in the coming week.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today