Thursday, January 21, 2010

SOS from Norway?

The Norwegians are holding their national XC championships right now in the Stokke, south of Oslo and not far from Sweden. In addition to the team already named (which is of course full of top-notch racers), the poor guys are trying to find racers with enough right talent and fitness that they can ensure the upcoming Olympics won't be as dismal as the last ones were (no golds, three silvers, one bronze - and no medals in either relay).

The opening events today were freestyle middle-distance interval starts won by Bjørgen and Northug. She took the 10k by a big margin over Kristoffersen (+1:11) and Johaug (+1:26); Skofterud and Jacobsen finished fourth and fifth. (Steira didn't compete.) Northug took the 15k narrowly over Hafsås (+7.7) and someone named Sjur Røthe (+11.7). The "big name" men, such as they are, were further back, with perhaps the most interesting second-tier result being Thomas Alsgaard in 14th, +1:08. Neither Tor Ruud Hofstad nor Lars Berger raced.

I can't read the herring bones well enough to know what this means for the Olys, except that clearly Bjørgen and Northug on form and Hafsås looks to be at or near world-class speed, too. I can't imagine any of the other women who raced today will find another 60 seconds of speed before the women's 10k at the Callaghan Valley on February 15.


Jan said...

Northug was said not to have too high speed, and Hafsås was not satisfied with his speed either. Even worse for the others, then... Frode Andresen had some hopes of qualifying for the Olympics, but this was not good enough.

Anonymous said...

=_= gahh the 2006 Olympics that was horrible.

I was very surprised to see Bjørgen win with that much. As Softerud have been good so far this season i and i was hoping she would be a podium threat for the Olympics.

Other then that it has to feel good for Johaug to get a podium after all the pressure she has been under.

But i do think this will make it difficult to name 4 distance girls.
My vote


But well that will leave out Johauge and Jacobsen so..O_o glad it is not my desicon.

Other then that i think 19 year old Heidi Weng is a girl to watch for the future. She has had strong results all year all the way from the season opener at Beito.

I don`t think the mens race will mean that much for the Olympic participation. All do some of the world cup skiers shud really not be happy with there performance.

Sundby at 27 Gaustad 25 and Gjerdalen 10

My guess for an Olympic team is


But personally i`d prefer to exchange Gjerdalen with some young talent instead maybe someone like Røthe.