Nordic

Norway Golden in Junior Women’s Skiathlon

by
Tom Kelly
2017-02-03 15:20
 

SOLDIER HOLLOW, UT (Feb. 3, 2017) - Norway’s Marte Maehlum Johansen came from behind in the final half of the freestyle leg of the skiathlon, to take gold at the 2017 USANA FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships at Soldier Hollow.

Swede’s Ebba Andersson took her third medal of the championships, finishing second, while American Katharine Ogden (Landgrove, VT) of Stratton Mountain School won the first medal ever for a U.S. cross country skier at Junior Worlds with bronze.

I’m so happy,” Johansen said. “My shape was good and I felt strong almost all the way. I just had to go all the way.”

Women's Podium

Bronze medalist Katharine Ogden, (left); gold medalist Marte Maehlum, Norway; and silver medalist Ebba Andersson, Sweden in the women's 5k/5k skiathlon at Soldier Hollow. (U.S. Ski Team - Tom Kelly)

Andersson, who had already claimed two gold medals earlier in the week, took the lead in the classic legs and held it into the exchange. Johansen, who took silver behind Andersson two days earlier in the 5k freestyle, bided her time waiting for the right moment to attack. Ogden, who was running fourth at the exchange, quickly moved up with Andersson and Johansen with the three of them playing cat and mouse on the rolling trails of Soldier Hollow.

“Historically I’m a little bit stronger of a skater, so my strategy was mostly just to hang on for dear life in the classic so I could put myself in a good position for the skate,” Ogden said.

As the three of them approached a short, steep climb just before the downhill into the stadium on the first skating leg, Johansen made a move to take the lead, extending it in the final 2.5 kilometers. Ogden, meanwhile, maintained strong contact with the leaders to easily hold off Italy’s Anna Comarella, who was fourth.

Johansen covered the 10k course in 27 minutes, 17.3 seconds. Andersson was 6.6 seconds back with Ogden 10.4 seconds behind.

The Junior Worlds wrap up Sunday with relays.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Norway’s Marte Maehlum Johansen won her second medal of the week, taking gold in the women’s skiathlon.
  • Abba Andersson of Sweden won her third medal but missed gold, taking silver.
  • The bronze went to American Katharine Ogden (Landgrave, VT) of Stratton Mountain School - the first ever for a U.S. cross country skier at Junior Worlds.
  • The Junior Worlds wrap up Sunday with relays.

 

QUOTES
Marte Maehlum Johansen
How do you feel about your race today?
I’m so happy.  My shape was good and I felt strong almost all the way. I just had to go all the way.

How does it feel to be a World Champion?
Incredible. I can’t believe it.

How was your overall experience here in Utah?
Amazing.  It’s one of the most beautiful places I have skied ever.

Is there anything you would like to say to anyone at home who couldn’t make it here?
Yes. I’m very thankful for all the support I get from all the people, family and friends at home.  I love you.

Ebba Andersson
How does it feel to finish second at Junior Worlds?
It feels very good but now I am very tired.

How do you like the courses here?
I love the courses here.

Are they pretty tough compared to what you have experienced?
Yes.  They are amazing.

Is there anything you would like to say to anyone at home who couldn’t make it here?
Its very nice here, both the weather and the nature - it’s beautiful.

Katharine Ogden
It’s been my goal to medal here for the past two years.

Everyday in training it’s kind of like something that I think about, it’s the little thing that helps me push myself. Even in the middle of June I’ll be like, ‘you know what I want to be? - On the podium at World Juniors.’

On her positioning in the classic leg:
Historically I’m a little bit stronger of a skater, so my strategy was mostly just to hang on for dear life in the classic so I could put myself in a good position for the skate. I was pretty happy with where I was for sure in the classic part and I knew that once I got on skate skis, I’d probably be at a little more of an advantage because I’m historically better at that so I was pretty confident during the classic part.

RESULTS
Women’s Skiathlon