Nordic Ski World Champs 2013


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Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby pakillo » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:38 am

Another winter sports highlight from Feb 20- March 3 !

Cannot expect Oslo 2011 atmosphere but first is classic sprint on Feb 21 :)
Last edited by pakillo on Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby bambam » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:05 pm

Yeah, and Kikkan Randall (USA) favored in that sprint for women - dominating that event this year among the women.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby Powell » Tue Feb 19, 2013 2:19 am

bambam wrote:Yeah, and Kikkan Randall (USA) favored in that sprint for women - dominating that event this year among the women.


Classical sprint? Not really. She finished 10th and 8th in her two World Cup races this season in this event. If the sprint was freestyle (which it will be next year in Sochi), that would be a very different story.

I'm not saying she isn't a potential challenger, but it's Bjoergen and Kowalczyk that have to start as favorites in this one yet again.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby pakillo » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:29 pm

Powell wrote:
bambam wrote:Yeah, and Kikkan Randall (USA) favored in that sprint for women - dominating that event this year among the women.


Classical sprint? Not really. She finished 10th and 8th in her two World Cup races this season in this event. If the sprint was freestyle (which it will be next year in Sochi), that would be a very different story.

I'm not saying she isn't a potential challenger, but it's Bjoergen and Kowalczyk that have to start as favorites in this one yet again.

Yep, she is much better in freestyle with very good chances in team sprint. M-Liisa Malvalehto could surprise.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby LopenUupunut » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:27 pm

pakillo wrote:Yep, she is much better in freestyle with very good chances in team sprint. M-Liisa Malvalehto could surprise.
I certainly hope so, she's always been one of those major talents who never really delivered on that promise... Motherhood seems to have finally put her back on track.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:07 pm

For some reason the 'sprints' in XC never much interested me. Probably my favorite event is the 4x10,000.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby bambam » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:47 pm

26mi235 wrote:For some reason the 'sprints' in XC never much interested me. Probably my favorite event is the 4x10,000.


Probably the greatest ever Olympic race in any sport - 1994 Lillehammer - Norway v. Italy - aka The Great Race. Go watch youtube clips of the NBC treatment of it. I am fortunate to have the entire video and still love to watch it.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby bambam » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:48 pm

Powell wrote:
bambam wrote:Yeah, and Kikkan Randall (USA) favored in that sprint for women - dominating that event this year among the women.


Classical sprint? Not really. She finished 10th and 8th in her two World Cup races this season in this event. If the sprint was freestyle (which it will be next year in Sochi), that would be a very different story.

I'm not saying she isn't a potential challenger, but it's Bjoergen and Kowalczyk that have to start as favorites in this one yet again.


Sorry - didn't know the sprint was classical at the Worlds this year.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby LopenUupunut » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:06 am

26mi235 wrote:For some reason the 'sprints' in XC never much interested me.
There are way too many of them, but I don't think they're fundamentally evil like the mass start 50K is :evil:
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby Powell » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:03 am

LopenUupunut wrote:
26mi235 wrote:For some reason the 'sprints' in XC never much interested me.
There are way too many of them, but I don't think they're fundamentally evil like the mass start 50K is :evil:


But nearly all distance races on the XC WCp circuit nowadays are mass start... which, at least on the men's side, turns them all into sprints, with a big group involved in the battle at the finish.
It's different with the women because the top athletes are dominant enough to run away from the others, so there's normally at most three women fighting it out at the finish (usually some subset of Bjoergen, Kowalczyk and Johaug).
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby Powell » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:12 am

LopenUupunut wrote:
pakillo wrote:Yep, she is much better in freestyle with very good chances in team sprint. M-Liisa Malvalehto could surprise.
I certainly hope so, she's always been one of those major talents who never really delivered on that promise... Motherhood seems to have finally put her back on track.


She won that one WCp race, but it sort of looks flukish... OK, she beat Kowalczyk there, but all the other top women were missing, plus the race was an abnormally short one, and I remember Malvalehto said herself in an interview after the race that that played into her hands. Apart from that one win, she hasn't done much of note.

Anne Kyllonen has been very consistent, though, with 4th and 3rd in two classical sprints this season so far.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby pakillo » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:40 am

LopenUupunut wrote:
26mi235 wrote:For some reason the 'sprints' in XC never much interested me.
There are way too many of them, but I don't think they're fundamentally evil like the mass start 50K is :evil:

I like sprints but I don't like that I see less and less interval start races. And mass start 50K with 30 men together at 49K is a joke :roll:
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby LopenUupunut » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:50 am

Powell wrote:
LopenUupunut wrote:There are way too many of them, but I don't think they're fundamentally evil like the mass start 50K is :evil:

But nearly all distance races on the XC WCp circuit nowadays are mass start...
Nah. It just feels that way :twisted:

Yes, there are way too many mass starts as well, but in my view the mass start 50K belongs to a whole different class of abomination. As an interval start, the 50K is brilliant; as a mass start, you can pretty much get away with missing the first two hours. Thankfully at least our National Champs are still resisting the mass start 50K :)

Powell wrote:
LopenUupunut wrote:
pakillo wrote:Yep, she is much better in freestyle with very good chances in team sprint. M-Liisa Malvalehto could surprise.
I certainly hope so, she's always been one of those major talents who never really delivered on that promise... Motherhood seems to have finally put her back on track.
She won that one WCp race, but it sort of looks flukish... OK, she beat Kowalczyk there, but all the other top women were missing, plus the race was an abnormally short one, and I remember Malvalehto said herself in an interview after the race that that played into her hands. Apart from that one win, she hasn't done much of note.
Yup, a longer race will hurt her chances somewhat, but her endurance is definitely up from a couple years back. Her tactical acumen worries me more...
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby Powell » Wed Feb 20, 2013 5:26 am

LopenUupunut wrote:
Powell wrote:But nearly all distance races on the XC WCp circuit nowadays are mass start...
Nah. It just feels that way :twisted:


Looking at this season in the World Cup, there's only been two proper interval start races so far, plus three very short ones as part of stage races. In major championships, only one out of 4 individual events has interval start. So it really has become something of a rarity.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby LopenUupunut » Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:27 am

Powell wrote:
LopenUupunut wrote:
Powell wrote:But nearly all distance races on the XC WCp circuit nowadays are mass start...
Nah. It just feels that way :twisted:
Looking at this season in the World Cup, there's only been two proper interval start races so far, plus three very short ones as part of stage races. In major championships, only one out of 4 individual events has interval start. So it really has become something of a rarity.
Sadly, yes. Not everything that isn't an interval start is a mass start, though; there have been quite a few handicap starts, especially on Tour de Ski.

(And the men's 10K at Ruka doesn't really count as "very short", but I guess that's picking nits :))
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby 26mi235 » Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:08 am

bambam wrote:
26mi235 wrote:For some reason the 'sprints' in XC never much interested me. Probably my favorite event is the 4x10,000.


Probably the greatest ever Olympic race in any sport - 1994 Lillehammer - Norway v. Italy - aka The Great Race. Go watch youtube clips of the NBC treatment of it. I am fortunate to have the entire video and still love to watch it.


Yes, when I think of this event, that is the race that sticks foremost in my mind.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby pakillo » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:31 pm

103 women (1,27Km course) and 136 men(1,5Km) will start in tomorrow's sprint. :)
Great it's not like that barely legal (for sprint) 1,8Km course in Sochi.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby Per Andersen » Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:23 pm

I look for Emil Johnsson of Sweden to take it. Him or the Russian Krjukov. I have no idea about how sharp Northug is. Always playing games. Monster talent but he got hammered by Krjutov over the last 100m in a sprint race earlier in the season. Did not think anybody could handle Northug like that.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby LopenUupunut » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:06 am

Malvalehto wins the qualification :wink:

The rounds will hurt her more than Kyllönen though. Surprised by Procházková, she hasn't shown much in the last couple years.

Randall only just scraped through...
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs

Postby Powell » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:09 am

LopenUupunut wrote:(And the men's 10K at Ruka doesn't really count as "very short", but I guess that's picking nits :))


That is still shorter than the shortest standard Olympic distance. And the women ran only 5k.
It looks like I underestimated Malvalehto, though. Fastest time in qualifying, just ahead of Kowalczyk. Bjoergen only 14th. Randall just barely made it through in 28th place :shock:
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby LopenUupunut » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:54 am

Reckon Harvey might have a chance in the 50K? He's clearly in shape, and has both endurance and a good finish...
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby pakillo » Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:25 am

LopenUupunut wrote:Reckon Harvey might have a chance in the 50K? He's clearly in shape, and has both endurance and a good finish...

He is with good chances in the 50K though I see several men with good chances if they attack earlier, not if they wait for finish against Northug. I guess I'll be for Poltoranin after what happened to him today.
I was hoping Emil Jonsson would take the sprint gold and what a climb that was by him!
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby bambam » Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:35 am

Well, I was sorta correct - USA women win team sprint, led by Kikkan Randall. First ever gold at worlds in Nordic Skiing for USA
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby Per Andersen » Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:24 pm

bambam wrote:Well, I was sorta correct - USA women win team sprint, led by Kikkan Randall. First ever gold at worlds in Nordic Skiing for USA

Well, I was more impressed by 17 year old Sarah Hendrickson winning the Normal hill Ski jump for the US. Amazing jumps!

But Saturday belonged to Norway (it's only right!) Top 4 in the Women's Skiathlon (7.5km classic and 7.5km free style) Marit Bjørgen winning it. Then 2nd 3rd and 4th in the Men's. And then Anders Bardahl winning the Normal hill Ski jump.

Harvey will be dangerous in the 50k but I''ll have to go with Northug here, especially if he chooses to sit out the 15K as has indicated. You'll never know with Northug though. He's into a new feud with the Swedes. He just can't let it go.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby pakillo » Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:47 pm

Will somebody stop Norwegian sweep tomorrow? That could be Kalla, Roponen, Gessner, Makarainen ... No Kowalczyk tomorrow.

I guess we'll see tomorrow if any other team can stand up against Norway in the relay.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby j-a-m » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:59 am

pakillo wrote:Will somebody stop Norwegian sweep tomorrow? That could be Kalla, Roponen, Gessner, Makarainen ... No Kowalczyk tomorrow.

Guess Bjorgen and Johaug will be tough to beat. Maybe someone can finish ahead of Steira for third to prevent the sweep.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby pakillo » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:19 am

j-a-m wrote:
pakillo wrote:Will somebody stop Norwegian sweep tomorrow? That could be Kalla, Roponen, Gessner, Makarainen ... No Kowalczyk tomorrow.

Guess Bjorgen and Johaug will be tough to beat. Maybe someone can finish ahead of Steira for third to prevent the sweep.

And that was Chekaleva, surprising but not as much as 5th place for Elizabeth Stephen.
Finland will need a lead after classical exchanges in the relay.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby Powell » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:24 am

pakillo wrote:And that was Chekaleva, surprising but not as much as 5th place for Elizabeth Stephen.


The biathlete Goessner was just 0.5s away from the bronze :o That was probably more surprising than either of these two.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby pakillo » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:48 am

Powell wrote:
pakillo wrote:And that was Chekaleva, surprising but not as much as 5th place for Elizabeth Stephen.


The biathlete Goessner was just 0.5s away from the bronze :o That was probably more surprising than either of these two.

I wasn't surprised with Goessner's result, she is the fastest biathlete (though I'm not a biathlon fan) who has already competed in cross-country World Cup and World Championships in Liberec 2009, always in skating technique I think.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby LopenUupunut » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:51 pm

pakillo wrote:
Powell wrote:
pakillo wrote:And that was Chekaleva, surprising but not as much as 5th place for Elizabeth Stephen.
The biathlete Goessner was just 0.5s away from the bronze :o That was probably more surprising than either of these two.
I wasn't surprised with Goessner's result, she is the fastest biathlete (though I'm not a biathlon fan) who has already competed in cross-country World Cup and World Championships in Liberec 2009, always in skating technique I think.
Yup, she had the fastest time on her leg in the Liberec relay at age 18 (ahead of Roponen, Steira, Haag etc.) and put the Germans back in medal contention. I think she was in even better shape a couple months ago, her skiing speed in Pokljuka (mid-December) and Oberhof (early January) was completely nuts.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby Powell » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:09 am

LopenUupunut wrote:
pakillo wrote:I wasn't surprised with Goessner's result, she is the fastest biathlete (though I'm not a biathlon fan) who has already competed in cross-country World Cup and World Championships in Liberec 2009, always in skating technique I think.
Yup, she had the fastest time on her leg in the Liberec relay at age 18 (ahead of Roponen, Steira, Haag etc.) and put the Germans back in medal contention. I think she was in even better shape a couple months ago, her skiing speed in Pokljuka (mid-December) and Oberhof (early January) was completely nuts.


Yes, she is very fast for a biathlete, but it's not like she's miles ahead of the others. Tora Berger has generally been outrunning Goessner in recent races, I believe, and there are at least a couple of others at a comparable level, like Domracheva and Makarainen.
To me it is surprising that these supposed non-specialists can contend for medals against the best runners in the world. I suppose one advantage they have is they only train one style, but even so... imagine if, say, top orienteering specialists showed up for track races at WC/OG and were in medal contention. Wouldn't it be a bit of an embarassment for track specialists?
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby Powell » Thu Feb 28, 2013 12:17 am

So what are your predictions for the relay today? Norway is obviously out of everyone's reach, but what about the minor medals? Finland and Sweden are obvious candidates, but Russia is starting to get their act together before the Olympics, and the US looks like possible contenders as well (it would be their first medal ever).
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby LopenUupunut » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:12 am

Powell wrote:So what are your predictions for the relay today? Norway is obviously out of everyone's reach, but what about the minor medals? Finland and Sweden are obvious candidates, but Russia is starting to get their act together before the Olympics, and the US looks like possible contenders as well (it would be their first medal ever).
I'm not convinced by Finland. We look good on paper, but I'm sure we'll manage to screw up somehow :? We have a weaker anchor than any other top contenders, which doesn't help.

Sweden will obviously be strong. Wiken on 2nd could be their problem spot; she can certainly turn in a good leg, but her first half in the skiathlon wasn't that great. (Also, Kalla disappointed in the 10K; she'll have to do better than that if Sweden wants silver, but I think she can.)

USA were 3rd in Gällivare, but they got excellent classical legs from Brooks and Randall that time. I don't see Bjornsen and Randall repeating that today; Randall's been shaky lately, and Bjornsen just isn't in that kind of shape.

Germany might have an outside chance. They have a decent team and have often overperformed in championship relays, plus Gössner will likely be extra-hungry after missing out on a medal by 0.5...

I'd say 1. NOR, 2. SWE and 3rd a toss-up between FIN, GER and possibly RUS. Hope I'm wrong :)

--

You're right, of course, that Gössner isn't miles ahead of other biathletes (though she seemed to be in Oberhof and Pokljuka). I'm surprised how handily she beat Mäkäräinen - but I'd put that down to Mäkäräinen having a bad day, as opposed to Gössner having an exceptionally good one. As for Berger, wasn't she 4th in the XC season opener last year? She certainly wasn't in better shape then. Sure, it is a bit embarrassing for so-called specialists...

If orienteering swallowed lots of Kenya's top talent, we might well see that happening! I've always been interested in seeing how Kenya would fare in orienteering 8-)
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby j-a-m » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:31 am

LopenUupunut wrote:You're right, of course, that Gössner isn't miles ahead of other biathletes (though she seemed to be in Oberhof and Pokljuka). I'm surprised how handily she beat Mäkäräinen - but I'd put that down to Mäkäräinen having a bad day, as opposed to Gössner having an exceptionally good one.

Guess one possible explanation is that the course was more difficult than the average biathlon world cup course, and Goessner is particularly good at going uphill.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby pakillo » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:33 am

Powell wrote:So what are your predictions for the relay today? Norway is obviously out of everyone's reach, but what about the minor medals? Finland and Sweden are obvious candidates, but Russia is starting to get their act together before the Olympics, and the US looks like possible contenders as well (it would be their first medal ever).

Well, Finnish team is surprising, I expected them to challenge Norway but with different team, maybe they need Saarinen on classical leg...
I put Germany on medal position and Sweden is questionable. France could do well. Classical legs are problem for USA.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby j-a-m » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:40 am

Powell wrote:Yes, she is very fast for a biathlete, but it's not like she's miles ahead of the others. Tora Berger has generally been outrunning Goessner in recent races, I believe, and there are at least a couple of others at a comparable level, like Domracheva and Makarainen.

To put that in perspective, Berger saves time by shooting faster than everyone else, and when looking at the overall time, that can make her seem even faster at skiing than she already is. Domracheva didn't have a good season until recently, but in top shape she's close to Goessner.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby j-a-m » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:41 am

pakillo wrote:Finland will need a lead after classical exchanges in the relay.

Yeah, for them to medal they need to get away from some of the top teams in the first half.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby j-a-m » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:45 am

LopenUupunut wrote:Germany might have an outside chance. They have a decent team and have often overperformed in championship relays, plus Gössner will likely be extra-hungry after missing out on a medal by 0.5...

Yeah, Goessner gotta be fired up after just missing the medal. She's gonna anchor, and if they are still close at that time, they have a good chance to medal.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby j-a-m » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:49 am

Powell wrote: and the US looks like possible contenders as well (it would be their first medal ever).

They seem to really focus on the relays at these world champs, and that worked out well the first time. If they are still close halfway through the race, they should have a pretty good chance.
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Re: Nordic Ski World Champs 2013

Postby LopenUupunut » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:13 am

j-a-m wrote:
LopenUupunut wrote:You're right, of course, that Gössner isn't miles ahead of other biathletes (though she seemed to be in Oberhof and Pokljuka). I'm surprised how handily she beat Mäkäräinen - but I'd put that down to Mäkäräinen having a bad day, as opposed to Gössner having an exceptionally good one.

Guess one possible explanation is that the course was more difficult than the average biathlon world cup course, and Goessner is particularly good at going uphill.
The course might well have played a role, and not only that way.

Mäkäräinen often goes out fast in biathlon - every time I see her first splits I think she's gone out too fast but mostly she manages to get away with it. (It's probably partly illusory anyhow - she's supposed to be among the leaders in the early splits, after all.) Here, though, she did fade badly towards the end... I think she wasn't properly adjusted to skiing on a more punishing course and went out too fast as a result.

Which is unfortunate, since she completely avoided that trap at our National Champs (where she beat Roponen and Sarasoja-Lilja); there, it was Roponen who took the early lead and faded towards the end. The exact opposite happened here.
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