Falla and Iversen win pre-World Championships sprints in Lahti (FIN)
Norwegians came away with both the men’s and the ladies’ sprint victories today in as Maiken Caspersen Falla and Emil Iversen led an impressive Norwegian effort at the Lahti Ski Games sprint.
The weekend in Finland has been a highly anticipated one as it is serving as the Pre-World Championship event for next year’s Nordic World Ski Championship.
Falla, who had four straight classic sprint victories heading into today’s race, added to her overall lead in the World Cup sprint standings.
Last week in Stockholm, she took over the season lead from Stina Nilsson (SWE) who was third in today’s sprint. American Jessica Diggins took second place in the hotly contested final, while Heidi Weng rounded out the podium.
The men’s final was a show of Norwegian dominance. Five of the six skiers in the final were Norwegian, while Italian Federico Pellegrino being the odd man out.
Until the pack entered the stadium, Pellegrino, who currently leads the Overall World Cup sprint standings looked like he might hold off the Norwegians as he was in the lead.
But the late strike from the red, white and blue led to the podium sweep with Iversen edging out teammates Finn Hagen Krogh and Petter Nothrug Jr. for first place.
Heidi Weng, NOR
I liked the track today. I tried to win but Maiken and Jessie were faster. In the last corner I was going to much on the right. Then it was hard to fight for the victory.
Jessie Diggins, USA
It is really exciting to be on the podium. The stadium was great with loud fans, It was a lot of fun to compete here.
Maiken Caspersen Falla, NOR
It was a great day. I felt very strong. I wanted to be in the lead of the pack to stay away from any possible trouble. I wanted to safe some energy and speed before the finish stretch.
Emil Iversen, NOR
I have been pushing hard the whole final. I was in the right position before the descent to the finish. Pellegrino was leading and I could get ahead of him before the last curve. I had some power left and it is great to celebrate second World Cup win.
Finn Haagen Krogh, NOR
I lost some meters Emil in the downhill before the last curve. Emil was very strong in the home stretch.
Petter Northug Jr. NOR
Today it was special because of the snow fall. I also had tomorrow’s 30 km in my head. I tried to have a good position in the last climb. I was too far back to fight for victory.
OFFICIAL RESULTS – 1.6 km free sprint
1. FALLA Maiken Caspersen NOR 3:33.81
2. DIGGINS Jessica USA +0.25
3. WENG Heidi NOR +0.31
Complete ladies' results are available HERE.
1. IVERSEN Emil NOR 3:08.14
2. KROGH Finn Haagen NOR +0.25
3. NORTHUG Petter Jr. NOR +0.69
Complete men's results are available HERE.
OVERALL SPRINT WORLD CUP STANDINGS
1. FALLA Maiken Caspersen NOR 580 pts
2. OESTBERG Ingvild Flugstad NOR 526 pts
3. NILSSON Stina SWE 506 pts
1. PELLEGRINO Federico ITA 465 pts
2. NORTHUG Petter Jr. NOR 368 pts
3. KROGH Finn Haagen NOR 332 pts