Iivo Niskanen sent Finland to the heavens with a gold medal at the cross-country 15-kilometer World Championships event on Wednesday. Thus Martin Johnsrud Sundby’s championships nightmare continues after yet another silver medal.
Fellow Norwegian Niklas Dyrhaug got the bronze and probably secured a place in the Norwegian relay team.
Didrik Tønseth shared fifth place, whereas John Høsflot Klæbo had a difficult race and ended in 15th place.
– I’m world champion at home in Lahti. It means a lot to me. My skis were fantastic. I had a stable start, and then I stepped up the pace after about three kilometres, said Niskanen to The International Skiing Federation (FIS) TV reporter.
It was a good day for Norway, but the very peak was missed. Niskanen was perhaps deprived of gold in team sprint event when Norwegian Emil Iversen tripped the Finn entering the last turn.
Wednesday the home favourite went full throttle between 1.5 and 4.7 km checkpoints.
He distanced Sundby by eleven seconds. The gap continued to increase until the Finn tired a bit towards the end.
It was almost a samba atmosphere in the Lahti stadium. This was a Gold that meant a lot to the Finns. Niskanen was rated as second best behind Sundby before the race.
Sundby is still without an individual gold medal neither at the World Championships or Olympics, but is considered a favourite for the 50 Km event.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today