Cross-country skiing: Classic sprint preview

PYEONGCHANG - Classic sprint competition 13 January, 2018.

LADIES 

  •  Maiken Caspersen FALLA (NOR) is aiming to become the first current world champion to win an Olympic medal in the ladies' sprint on Tuesday 13 February at Alpensia Cross-Country Centre.
  • No man or woman has won two Olympic medals in the sprint (classic and free) at the Winter Games.
  • In the ladies' event, FALLA (gold at Sochi 2014), Ingvild Flugstad OESTBERG (NOR, silver in 2014)and Justyna KOWALCZYK (POL, silver in 2010) can all win their second medal in the sprint.
  • There are also three men who can achieve this feat, but none of them won gold, meaning FALLA can become the first and only cross-country skier with two gold medals in the sprint.
  • OESTBERG is hoping to become the third Olympic champion from Norway in an individual ladies' sprint event after FALLA (2014) and BJOERGEN (2010).
  • The only non-European medallist in individual sprint events at the Winter Games (men's or ladies') is Chandra CRAWFORD (CAN), who won gold in the sprint free at Torino 2006.
  • Anamarija LAMPIC (SLO) won the sprint classic World Cup race in PyeongChang on 3 February 2017 and is now aiming to hand Slovenia its third Olympic medal in this event (incl. sprint free). FABJAN in 2014 and Petra MAJDIC in 2010 both took bronze.

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MEN 

  • Sweden (four) has claimed most medals in the men's individual sprint event at the Olympic Winter Games, ahead of Norway (three).
  • Johannes Hoesflot KLAEBO (NOR) is hoping to become the third Olympic champion from Norway in a men's individual sprint event, after Ola Vigen HATTESTAD in 2014 (sprint free) and Tor Arne HETLAND in 2002 (sprint free).
  • KLAEBO (NOR) will be 21 years and 114 days old on the day of this event and could become the youngest Olympic champion in men's cross-country skiing. Gunde SVAN (SWE) currently holds the record as he was 22 years and 32 days old when he won gold in the men's 15km classic in 1984.
  • KLAEBO has won five of the seven men's individual sprint events in the World Cup this season, including all three in classic style. He finished second in the sprint free in Dresden and did not take part in the sprint free in Lenzerheide in the Tour de Ski.
  • Federico PELLEGRINO (ITA) could become the second man to claim the Olympic title in men's individual sprint as world champion, after HETLAND in 2002.
  • PELLEGRINO could become the third cross-country skier representing Italy to win a gold medal in an individual men's event, after Giorgio di CENTA in the 50km free in 2006 and Franco NONES in the 30km classic in 1968.
  • PELLEGRINO could hand Italy its second Olympic medal in a men's sprint event, after Cristian ZORZI who claimed bronze in the sprint free in 2002.
  • Alex HARVEY (CAN) and Alexey POLTORANIN (KAZ) could both become the first athletes representing a non-European NOC to claim an Olympic medal in a men's individual sprint event.
  • HARVEY is hoping to become the second medallist from North America in men's cross-country skiing, next to Bill KOCH (USA) who took silver in the 30km classic in 1976.
  • POLTORANIN could become the second athlete representing an Asian NOC to collect a medal in men's cross-country skiing, alongside compatriot Vladimir SMIRNOV who collected one gold, two silver and one bronze medal representing Kazakhstan in 1994 and 1998.
  • Maurice MANIFICAT (FRA) could become the second Olympic medallist from France in an individual men's event, after Roddy DARRAGON who took silver in the sprint free in 2006.