Olympic Guide into Sprint Classic Men
As always top 30 athletes in the qualification will proceed to quarterfinals. There will be six athletes in every heat. Two best in the heat are automatically sent to the next round. Two fastest times from all racers in all heats ranked 3rd-6th places are called lucky losers and continue as well. Same procedure applies to semifinals. As of this year there is no longer B-Finals.
Qualification at 10.40 local time, at 19.40 CET. Quarterfinals at 21.55, semi-finals 22.30 and finals 22.55 CET (13.55 LOC).
After last year's sprint there was a discussion whether men will use grip wax or not. Small adaption of the course was done to avoid such a discussion. Track is harder with uphill from and into stadium. There is last curve, which is very sharp. It will be important to have good position before finish.
Emil Jönsson of Sweden is a clear favorite for gold medal. Emil Jönsson runs for gold, anything else would be disappointing for him. He has build up big self-confidence. Ola Vigen Hattestad has medal ambitions as well, Petter Northug Jr. will be on start and if he makes to the finals it will difficult for everybody to beat him.
The whole Norwegian and Swedish teams have capacity to win a medal or even win.
Nikita Kriukov of Russia is very strong in Classic, as well as former Junior World Champion Alexander Panzhinskiy.Bjorn Lind (SWE) will defend gold medal from 2006. Then he can compete for a bronze medal.
1) Emil Jönsson, SWE
2) Ola Vigen Hattestad, NOR
3) Johan Kjølstad, NOR
Contributed by: Kjell-Erik Kristiansen, langd.se