SkiO World Cup: Lindkvist and Baklid win sprint race

The world’s best ski orienteering athletes were met by another day of great skiing conditions as the sun rose over Beitostølen, Norway after another evening with snowfall.

Starting at the arena the men were first take on the tracks and their 3,5-kilometer course with a map exchange and arena passage halfway through.

If the spectators were looking for excitement about the win, world cup leader Jørgen Baklid did his best to disappoint them as he led all way through the course and won by a smashing 32 seconds at the finish.

On the contrary the fight for the second place was nail biting and ended up with three athletes sharing the same time – Niklas Ekström, Aapo Viippola (both FIN) and Sweden’s Jonatan Ståhl.

Viippola was nine seconds down on Ekström and Ståhl halfway but caught up on the last loop.

Eevert Toivonen (FIN) and Vegard Gulbrandsen (NOR) was respectively one and four seconds slower compared to the silver trio and made it to the podium.

Lindkvist won after strong finish
In the women’s class Sweden’s Linda Lindkvist broke an impressive streak by winning today.

Daisy Kudre-Schnyder (EST) had won the last four individual world cup races and led today’s sprint at the map exchange. But Lindkvist had the best speed on the last 1,5 kilometers and won by 12 seconds to the Estonian.

Lisa Larsen (SWE) was third ahead of compatriot Tove Alexandersson, who led the race for a long time due to her early starting time.

Frida Sandberg was the fourth Swede on the podium ahead of Finland’s Sari Vaaranen finishing sixth.

Split golds in U23
Jonatan Ståhl and Niklas Ekström’s tie meant the organisers had to find two gold medals for the ceremony in the U23 World Championship.

That’s Ekström’s second gold in two days. Sweden’s Isak Lundholm got the bronze.

Judita Traubaite is another athlete returning from Norway with two U23 golds as she won the women’s U23 class for the second straight day. She was accompanied by two Finn’s: Maria Hoskari and Nina Karna taking silver and bronze respectively.

World cup wins decided after today
Today’s results decided the overall World Cup wins for the 2022-23 season, as Jørgen Baklid and Daisy Kudre-Schnyder no longer can be caught on tomorrow’s pursuit race, which will end the international SkiO season.

Kudre-Schnyder leads by 120 points to Linda Lindkvist and Aapo Viippola cannot catch up with Baklid’s 75-point-lead even if the Finn wins and Baklid does not score any points.

The women’s U23 World Cup will be exciting to follow as Eliane Deininger (SUI), Maria Hoskari (FIN) and Elin Schagerström (SWE) all can win after tomorrow’s pursuit. Niklas Ekström on the other hand cannot be caught in the men’s U23 standings.

Dive into results and tracking from today as well as world cup standings on IOF LIVE.

Sunday’s pursuit starting order is decided by today’s results. Men’s class will start 10.00 CET (UTC+1) Sunday morning and the women will follow 30 minutes later.

Follow the race on IOF LIVE.

Top 6 SKiO World Cup results, Sprint

1 Linda Lindkvist SWE 12:59 minutes
2 Daisy Kudre Schnyder EST + 0:12
3 Lisa Larsen SWE + 0:17
4 Tove Alexandersson SWE + 0:29
5 Frida Sandberg SWE + 0:38
6 Sari Vaaranen FIN + 0:52

1 Jørgen Baklid NOR 12:31 minutes
2 Aapo Viippola FIN + 0:32
2 Niklas Ekström FIN + 0:32
2 Jonatan Ståhl SWE + 0:32
5 Eevert Toivonen FIN + 0:33
6 Vegard Gulbrandsen NOR + 0:36

All photos: Erling Thisted / IOF