The Russians Alena Trapeznikova and evergreen veteran Eduard Khrennikov won the Middle Distance mass start competitions today in two closely contested races. The first 5 in the men’s race were from 5 different nations; by contrast, Russia and Sweden took the first five places in the women’s race.
After – for her – two disappointing races, Trapeznikova tasted success today with a 5-second win over Isabel Salen, Sweden. Salen is one of several new faces in leading positions in this World Cup round; she was only 2 seconds down at the last radio point but Trapeznikova was stronger into the finish. Salen has now established herself firmly in the senior ranks; in 2015 she won 2 gold medals (Middle and Long) in the Junior World Championships. In third place, a further 16 seconds down, was the experienced Russian Tatyana Oborina.
Khrennikov, 46 years old, showed that he has lost little of his renowned skill and power in achieving yet another victory, this time by 6 seconds. A 3-man sprint for second place was won by Tuomas Kotro, Finland, just ahead of Sweden’s Markus Lundholm and Swiss Gion Schnyder. Fifth into the finish was the Estonian Mattis Jaama – a fine performance as he is world-ranked number 25. But it was not a day for the well-known Andrey Lamov RUS, Lars Moholdt NOR and Erik Rost SWE who finished 11th, 19th and 38th respectively.
Norway scored well in the first two races but had no-one in a top-six placing today, a day with some sunshine and temperature around -6 degrees. Tomorrow is Relay day, and Norway will for sure be working very hard to make amends!
In the Junior World and European Youth championship races, three of the four gold medals were won by Russian athletes. Two races were won by 1-second margins, but the most emphatic victory was in W17, by a young lady who had already taken the Sprint gold by a fantastic margin and won today by 49 seconds. Her name is Iuliia Khrennikova; that family name sounds familiar!
Leading results: Middle Distance, mass start
- Alena Trapeznikova RUS 41:45
- Isabel Salen SWE 41:50
- Tatyana Oborina RUS 42:06
- Magdalena Olsson SWE 42:14
- Lisa Larsen SWE 43:05
- Salla Koskela FIN 43:17
- Eduard Khrennikov RUS 43:35
- Tuomas Kotro FIN 43:41
- Markus Lundholm SWE 43:42
- Gion Schnyder SUI 43:43
- Mattis Jaama EST 44:03
- Tero Linnainmaa FIN 44:05
Junior World SkiO Championships
Gold medals to Zoya Chernykh RUS (winning margin 1 sec.) and Nikolai Taran RUS (4 secs.)
European Youth SkiO Championships
Gold medals to Iuliia Khrennikova RUS (49 secs.) and Isak Lundholm SWE (1 sec.)