With the experience of two World Champions titles, one silver and one bronze in Skiathlon, Therese Johaug (NOR) went into the 2x7.5km Skiathlon as the top favorite for the title. Indeed, the 32 year-old set out in her own powerful fashion right from the start. “I knew that I had to give my very best from the beginning as there are many strong girls in the race. I felt very strong but as we did not compete much in the World Cup before, I didn’t know how it would be going. I really have to thank my entire team but especially my way men that did an amazing job today.”
After winning two gold, one silver and one bronze World Championships medal in Skiathlon, Johaug shared the record for most medals in this event with Marit Bjørgen (NOR).
Todays victory makes her the most successful Skiathlon athlete among women at World Championships.
21 year-old Frida Karlsson (SWE) was on the heels of Johaug, when the two crashed in the first lap. Karlsson was set back for a short time as she had to get re-arranged after a broken pole. Other than that, the incident did not cause much troubles for the two distance experts as they returned back to their feet in no time. Frida’s team colleague and candidate for a podium spot, Ebba Andersson (SWE) had in the meantime taken over the lead and was soon caught up by Johaug and Karlsson again. “I am very proud of what I achieved today. A second place despite a broken pole right at the beginning is great,” said the young Swede who managed to outrun her team colleague on the final stretch.
Third placed Ebba Andersson remained in the runner up position also after Johaug had taken up speed after the ski exchange to Free technique where Johaug set out with a 4 second gap. Andersson and Karlsson were on the hunt but could not catch up with Johaug who constantly extended her lead.
In the final stretch, the duo fought for the better podium position in a final sprint which Frida Karlsson decided to her favor. The Swedes take the spots 2 and 3 30 seconds behind the winning Johaug.