COCM: Bernhard Flaschberger wins in Ruka
8.5 seconds separated Austria’s Bernhard Flaschberger from Japanese Hidefumi Denda in the end. The Austrian won the first event of the COC weekend in Ruka. After a windy afternoon, the PCR had to be used in order to be able to ski the 10 km race under floodlights. Flaschberger’s teammate Thomas Jöbstl conquered rank three. He improved from position 19 with the fastest cross-country time and finished 13.8 seconds after Flaschberger.
Norway’s Sindre Ure Soetvik had shown a good performance on the jumping hill on Thursday and lead the field after his PCR victory with 138 m and 145.8 points. German jumping talent Luis Lehnert was second with 137.5 metres (129.8 p.) and a time behind of one minute and four seconds. Martin Fritz was third with 135.5 metres and a delay of one minute and seven seconds. Young Finn Otto Niittykoski impressed with rank five, while the podium athletes started from position eight (Denda, +01:48), 13 (Flaschberger, +02:30) and 19 (Jöbstl +02:50).
In the race, Flaschberger proved to be irresistible and had the second-fastest time of 26:38.1 that carried him to the win of the day. Leader Søtvik had to let four other athletes pass in the course of the race and finished on the fifth position. Looking at the Top Ten, the Austrian team had a strong day with Flaschberger, Jöbstl, Fritz and Dagn, while Germany had three athletes, namely David Welde, Tobias Simon and Luis Lehnert on positions seven till nine. Team Japan managed to enter the Top Ten with two athletes, Denda and Aguri Shimizu who ended up on the tenth position.
Flaschberger saw the good Austrian team result as a result of hard traning and good equipment: “I think we did really good work in summer and now hard work pays off. We also really had good skis this afternoon and you can see it from the results.”