Sunday, January 3, 2010

Prague Sprints

Why, hello, Eldar Rønning! Where have you been all season? Way to jump up the leaderboard! The Oberhof sprints had two other surprises (three, if you include the elderly Swedish unknown Teodor Peterson in fourth): Emil Jönsson ably following up his good 15k on Saturday, and Kristin Størmer Steira racing in a sprint final - a rather uncommon occurrence.

I think things will shake out more conventionally in the city sprints in Prague, which are being run on a substantially shorter course (1200m versus Oberhof's 1600m) that does not include any severe climbs but does have a long uphill to the finish line. My picks:

men's 1.2km freestyle sprint
1. Northug
2. Jönsson
3. Newell
Kershaw: semifinals; Harvey: quarterfinals

women's 1.2km freestyle sprint
1. Kowalczyk
2. Follis
3. Majdic
Renner: quarterfinals


Anonymous said...

Your comment about Rønning got me thinking coulden`t the same be said for most of the Norwegian team ?
As in were have they been all season.

Okey the male sprinters have been dominating.
But looking at the mens distance results i think Northug i the only one who has been on the podium or close to it in skate races and Sundby is the only one with a good result behind Northug on classical distance.

On the womens sprinter side you got Bjørgen who has been one of the strongest sprinters this year but behind her there is only 2 other girls that has made it to a sprint final this year and both of them were in over there heads in those finals.

Womens distance looks a little better i think Bjørgen is the only podium preformer but Steira and Skofterud have been close a few times.

Still behind Bjørgen and Northug i am not that impressed with Norways dept. And i think several other nations has proven they are stronger like Russia in mens distance racing.