Cross-country skiing: Men's skiathlon preview
11 February 2018 03:41
PYEONGCHANG - Dario COLOGNA (SUI) and Marcus HELLNER (SWE) are hoping for a second gold medal in the men's skiathlon, which is held on Sunday 11 February at the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre.
- COLOGNA, champion at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, and HELLNER, champion at Vancouver 2010, could both join Sixten JERNBERG (SWE, 4), Gunde SVAN (SWE, 4), Thomas WASSBERG (SWE, 4) and Nikolai ZIMYATOV (URS, 4) in joint-third place on the all-time Olympic gold medal list in men's cross-country skiing. Only Thomas ALSGAARD (NOR, 5) and Bjoern DAEHLIE (NOR, 8) have won more golds.
- COLOGNA has recorded a top-three finish in seven of his past eight appearances in skiathlon in major competition (World Cup, world championships, Olympic Winter Games), with a 27th-place finish in Lillehammer on 5 December 2015 the only exception.
- HELLNER, who took silver in this event in 2014, could become the second male cross-country skier to complete the medal set in one specific event at the Olympic Winter Games, after Eero MANTYRANTA (FIN) who won gold (Squaw Valley 1960), silver (Innsbruck 1964) and bronze (Grenoble 1968) in the 4x10km relay.
- Martin Johnsrud SUNDBY (NOR), who took bronze in this event in 2014, will be 33 years and 138 days old on the day of this event and could become the oldest Olympic champion from Norway in an individual men's cross-country event. Harald GROENNINGEN holds the record as he was 33 years and 124 days old when he took gold in the 15km classic at Grenoble 1968.
- SUNDBY could become the fourth oldest Olympic champion in an individual men's event after Andrus VEERPALU (EST) in the 15km classic at Torino 2006 (35-009), JERNBERG in the 50km classic at Innsbruck 1964 (34-364) and Giorgio DI CENTA (ITA) in the 50km free at Torino 2006 (33-142).
- SUNDBY has claimed a podium finish in each of his past nine appearances in the skiathlon in major competition (World Cup, world championships, Olympic Winter Games), since a 17th place in Canmore on 16 December 2012.
- Johannes Hoesflot KLAEBO (NOR) will be 21 years and 112 days old on the day of this event and could become the youngest Olympic champion in men's cross-country skiing. SVAN currently holds the record as he was 22 years and 32 days old when he claimed Olympic gold in the 15km classic at Sarajevo 1984.
- KLAEBO won the only previous skiathlon race he participated in in major competition (World Cup, world championships, Olympic Winter Games), as he triumphed in the 2x15km in Lillehammer on 3 December 2017.
- Maurice MANIFICAT (FRA) could become the second Olympic medallist from France in an individual men's event, after Roddy DARRAGON, who took silver in the sprint free at Torino 2006.
*Statistics provided by Gracenote Sports