Northug to Skip Oslo Team Sprint
Petter Northug will sit out the team sprint in Oslo, despite his and teammate Øystein Pettersen's gold medal from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics in that very event.
Having said earlier that it would be difficult for him to race all six events at the 2010 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oslo, Norway in February, Northug announced that he will not contest the team sprint.
His father, John Northug, explained to dagbladet.no that he will be sitting out the team sprint because of the compressed competition schedule. Relative to the Olympics, the World Championships sees as many races in three less days, which could jeopardize Northug's golden opportunities in the other five events.
News of this decision didn't seem to surprise his teammates. According to langrenn.com, Ola Vigen Hattestad commented, "No I did not know. But it comes as no surprise that he dropped the race. I guess the team sprint is where Norway needs him the least." Hattestad was confident that despite the lack of their biggest star, the Norwegian men's team is still a gold medal threat. "I think it's a gold medal team. The sprint guys are certainly on track. We have come up as a team, and have had many bright fine results so far this year."