Can Tove Alexandersson, Sweden maintain her unbeaten record in this year’s World Cup? The biggest challenge comes from an unexpected quarter – Maja Alm, Denmark is added to the entry list as her season in athletics comes to an end!
Alm, World Champion in Sprint for four years in succession (2015-2018) and with 5 Sprint wins in World Cup races, is in great form, so Alexandersson is likely to be pressed somewhat harder than she has so far experienced this season. Then there is the up-and-coming home athlete Simona Aebersold who was only 5 seconds down on Alexandersson in the World Championships Middle Final. Take also Finland’s Marika Teini and Venla Harju, and Natalia Gemperle from Russia, and Alexandersson’s continued dominance is certainly under heavy threat. Sweden’s Karolin Ohlsson, sixth in the World Cup standings, is injured and unable to take part.
The big tussle for supremacy between Gustav Bergman, Sweden, and Olav Lundanes, Norway – both with two World Cup wins this season (Lundanes becoming double World Champion) will be the main focus in the men’s races. But Norway also have Magne Dæhli and the really impressive junior Kasper Fosser, whilst Daniel Hubmann and Matthias Kyburz can be relied on to head a strong Swiss presence. Frederic Tranchand, France is enjoying an excellent season, and there are many other male athletes with the capability of scoring a win in this third of four World Cup rounds.
25 nations represented
In all, 132 men and 107 women from 25 nations are entered for the round, which starts with a Middle Distance race on Friday 27th September. This will be held in hilly mixed forest with many trails just outside Laufen, where runnability is generally good although there are bits with moderate to dense vegetation.
The following day brings a Knock-Out Sprint in the neighbouring communities Zwingen and Laufen, with Qualification and Quarter- and Semi-Finals before the Finals, which are due to start at 1610 and 1630 local time. On Sunday, a Sprint race in Laufen with 40 athletes in each A-Final, with 90-second start interval, starts at 1300 (women) and 1400 (men). The Sprint terrain is urban with some parkland, and includes a complex pattern of streets and alleyways in the oldest part of Laufen.
All 3 competitions will be covered with full TV broadcast on Web-TV.
More information about live service is found here