(Seefeld, Austria) It was a special day today in Seefeld, Austria the site of the 2019 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. During the FIS Ladies Sprint free technique final Switzerland's Laurien van der Graaff and the USA's Sophie Caldwell shared a victory with identical times. It took several minutes to determine that it wasn't possible to separate them with the photo finish cameras. In third place was Norway's Maiken Caspersen Falla who took back over the World Cup sprint leaders bibs from Stina Nilsson (SWE) who didn't compete today.
On the men's side it was familiar names battling for the podium with the young super star for Norway Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo winning again for his 9th victory of the season. Chasing him to the finish just +0.48 behind was France's Lucas Chanavat for his third straight sprint free podium. In third place was Sweden's Calle Halfvarsson +0.97. It's back to back third place finishes for Halfvarsson.
Competitions continue here in Seefeld tomorrow with the 10/15 km mass start competitions in free technique. These will be the final World Cup competitions before the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, Korea.
Maiken Caspersen Falla NOR
I feel I'm doing well. When the trails are like this, I know I have to try in the little hill that is there. Having reached the final after winning the prologue I know now that my shape is rising and that the body is responding.
Laurien van der Graaff SUI
It's so great to win again. I have told myself to believe that it was possible and now I have two wins this season. I didn't realize Sophie was so close at the finish. It's kind of fun to share the podium with her. I have never heard of that happening before.
Sophie Caldwell USA
This was a crazy day. At first I was second in the finish and then 10 minutes later I learn that I have won the race in a tie with Laurien. I like this style of course and after my qualifier today I knew I could ski well. To get my second career win just before the Olympics gives me a lot of confidence heading into the Games.
Lucas Chanavat FRA
It was a fun race today. It's my third podium this season so I am happy to be so consistent. We had really hard training this week to get ready for the Olympics so I hope to be even better in Korea. I wasn't sure how I would feel today but in the end it's a good result.
Calle Halfvarsson SWE
Another third place finish. It was tough today as I led down the big hill into the stadium. I didn't want to be in that position and when the guys went around me I wasn't sure if the podium was possible. So to be able to fight back and be third I have to be happy with that.
Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo NOR
I am having fun. We have had some unique sprint courses on World Cup this season and this was one of them. To have the big climb at the beginning of the sprint no one wants to be in the lead over the top. So you could see the games happening to be in the right position coming down the hill.
LADIES - 1.2 km SPRINT F
1. VAN DER GRAAFF Laurien SUI 2:18.65 (PF)
1. CALDWELL Sophie USA 2:18.65 (PF)
3. FALLA Maiken Caspersen NOR +0.21
4. HARSEM Kathrine Rolsted NOR +1.34
5. SOEMSKAR Linn SWE +1.83
6. BJORNSEN Sadie USA +2.26
MEN - 1.4 km SPRINT F
1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR 3:02.66
2. CHANAVAT Lucas FRA +0.48
3. HALFVARSSON Calle SWE +0.97
4. PELLEGRINO Federico ITA +1.06
5. RETIVYKH Gleb RUS +1.17
6. IVERSEN Emil NOR +5.57
OVERALL WORLD CUP SPRINT STANDINGS
1. FALLA Maiken Caspersen NOR 343 pts
2. NILSSON Stina SWE 335
3. CALDWELL Sophie USA 326
1. KLAEBO Johannes Hoesflot NOR 530 pts
2. PELLEGRINO Federico ITA 325
3. CHANAVAT Lucas FRA 237