Ola Vigen Hattestad and Hanna Falk fastest in sprint qualificiation
Hanna Falk did a first step to defend the sprint title from Otepää and won the qualifying session. Ola Vigen Hattestad preserved the shape from last weekend and won on the men's side.
In the cold Estonian morning 52 ladies were on the start of the 1.2 km qualification round. Falk was in 3:08.62 the fastest and edged out yesterday's winner Marit Bjoergen to second place by tiny +0.29. Slovenian Katja Visnar qualified in third best time. Sprint classic specialist Petra Majdic lost on Falk 1 second and is through in fourth fastest time. Current overall World Cup leader Justyna Kowalczyk had 12th quickest time.
The shape of Ola Vigen Hattestad is on the rise and the Norwegian claimed fastest qualification time among the men. Men's course was by 200 m longer and covered 1.400 m. Hattestad edged out Olympic sprint champion Nikita Kriukov by +1.11 sec. Hattestad's compatriot Eirik Bransdaal lost +2.07 sec and finished third. Sprint World Cup leeader Emil Joensson lost on Hattestad +3.21 and is through from 6th place.