It was a day of firsts in PyeongChang, Korea the site of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Day's sprint competitions marked the first time that South Korea has ever hosted an FIS Cross-Country World Cup event. Along with that first we had 4 of the 6 athlete who made it to the podium today there for the first time. As well the two winners, Anamarija Lampic of Slovenia and Gleb Retivykh of Russian were first time winners.
Lampic went head to head with Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk on the final climb and was able to create a gap and held it all the way to the finish. Silje Oeyre Slind of Norway was able to fight her way to second +1.60 behind just ahead of the USA's Ida Sargent +1.79 off the lead. For all three it was their first World Cup podiums. Kowalczyk crossed the line in 4th +2.35 back.
In the men's competition Retivykh came from second place on the final curve to overtake Norway's Sondre Turvoll Fossli to win his first World Cup by +0.30. In third place was Russian Andrey Parfenov +0.73 back. It was his second World Cup sprint podium following another third place finish in Rybinsk 2015. He took third just 0.01 ahead of Canada's Lenny Valjas.
It was the first time any of these athletes competed on this sprint course which featured a long early climb followed by a very large second climb similar in height to the final hill of the Ruka sprint course. The course is being tested as a possible option for next winter's Olympic Games.
Competitions continue tomorrow with the Skiathlon. Ladies' will complete a 7.5 km + 7.5 km course and the men will go 15 km + 15 km .
Anamarija Lampic (SLO)
It is unbelievable I won today. I hoped to make to the final but to win, it’s a dream. I skied well in the downhill. I managed to get a gap on the other girls. After the curve in the stadium I knew I had a lead and I could enjoy the home stretch.
Silje Øyre Slind (NOR)
It was tough today, the course was hard but it was hard for everybody. I got tired in the big climb but managed to ski well the downhill. I had some power left and was pushing hard on the homestretch
Ida Sargent (USA)
I was getting little bit more tired in the heats. The corner in the stadium is very technical and tried to carry my speed in the stadium and get to the finish as quickly as possible.
Gleb Retivikh (RUS)
I arrived here yesterday so I am still jet lagged. I knew Sondre is very strong. I did not think I could win. I was hopping for a good result. I had wait 6 years for my first victory and it is great.
Sondre Turvoll Fossli (NOR)
For me it is a great result to be second. I was struggling a lot with my health in the summer and autumn.It was a tough race. I skied well in the stadium with a good double pole but Gleb was faster.
Andrey Parfenov (RUS)
It was really close between me and Lenny. I know he was next to me. I was lucky have a better lunge. It was a good track for classic. There is not so much double poling sections, more uphills and that was good for me. I am really happy for my second podium of my career.
LADIES - 1.4 km sprint C
1. LAMPIC Anamarija SLO 3:41.97
2. SLIND Silje Oeyre NOR +1.60
3. SARGENT Ida USA +1.79
4. KOWALCZYK Justyna POL +2.35
5. ZHAMBALOVA Alisa RUS +4.24
6. VISNAR Katja SLO +17.10
MEN - 1.5 km sprint C
1. RETIVYKH Gleb RUS 3:30.79
2. FOSSLI Sondre Turvoll NOR +0.30
3. PARFENOV Andrey RUS +0.73 (PF)
4. VALJAS Len CAN +0.74 (PF)
5. PANZHINSKIY Alexander RUS +1.49
6. NEWELL Andrew USA +17.19
LADIES - U23 Standings
1. LAMPIC Anamarija SLO 174 pts
2. SUNDLING Jonna SWE 157
3. BELORUKOVA Yulia RUS 134
Full standings .