OWG PyeongChang 2018 - Men's 15 km F preview

PYEONGCHANG - Dario COLOGNA (SUI) is aiming for his third consecutive Olympic title in the men's 15km (free and classic), which is held on Friday 16 February at the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre.

  • COLOGNA won Olympic gold in this event in both 2014 (15km classic) and 2010 (15km free) and could become the first cross-country skier to claim three Olympic titles in one specific men's event.
  • COLOGNA's tally of two gold medals in this event is a joint high alongside Andrus VEERPALU (EST), Bjoern DAEHLIE (NOR) and Hallgeir BRENDEN (NOR), who are also on two Olympic titles in the men's 15km free/classic (incl. 10km classic and 18km).
  • COLOGNA (G2-S0-B0) needs one more medal to equal Sixten JERNBERG (SWE, G0-S2-B1) on a record three Olympic medals in the 15km free/classic.
  • COLOGNA and Marcus HELLNER (SWE) could both join JERNBERG (4), Gunde SVAN (SWE, 4), Thomas WASSBERG (SWE, 4) and Nikolai ZIMYATOV (URS, 4) in joint-third place on the all-time Olympic gold medal list in men's cross-country skiing. Only Thomas ALSGAARD (NOR, 5) and DAEHLIE (8) have won more gold.
  • Both men's events in cross-country skiing at PyeongChang 2018 so far were won by Norwegians: Simen Hegstad KRUEGER won the skiathlon and Johannes Hoesflot KLAEBO won the sprint classic style.
  • The last time Norway won three or more gold medals in men's cross-country skiing at one Winter Games was in 2002, when it won four.
  • Norway has failed to reach the podium in this event in each of the last three editions of the Olympic Winter Games.
  • Norway's last Olympic medal in the 15km free/classic came in 2002, when Frode ESTIL took silver in Salt Lake City.
  • KLAEBO and KRUEGER can become the first Norwegian men with multiple gold medals in cross-country skiing at one Winter Games since Petter NORTHUG won two in 2010.
  • Martin Johnsrud SUNDBY (NOR) will be 33 years and 143 days old on the day of this event and could become the oldest Olympic champion from Norway in an individual men's cross-country event. Harald GROENNINGEN holds the record as he was 33 years and 124 days old when he took gold in the 15km classic in 1968.
  • SUNDBY could become the third oldest Olympic champion in an individual men's event after Andrus VEERPALU (EST) in the 15km classic in 2006 (35-009) and JERNBERG in the 50km classic in 1964 (34-364).
  • Maurice MANIFICAT (FRA) is aiming to become the first Olympic champion representing France in cross-country skiing.
  • MANIFICAT could become the second Olympic medallist from France in an individual cross-country event, after Roddy DARRAGON (FRA), who took silver in the men's sprint free in 2006.
  • Iivo NISKANEN (FIN), who just missed out on a podium spot in the 15km classic in Sochi in 2014 (fourth), could become the first current world champion in the 15km free/classic (incl. 10km classic and 18km) to win the Olympic title since DAEHLIE in 1998.
  • The last athlete from Finland to win an Olympic medal in this event was Mika MYLLYLA, who got bronze in the 10km classic in 1998.
  • Finland's only Olympic title in this event came in 1964, when Eero MANTYRANTA triumphed in the 15km classic.
  • Alex HARVEY (CAN) could become the second athlete not representing a European NOC to claim an Olympic medal in this event (incl. 10km classic and 18km), after Vladimir SMIRNOV (KAZ) who won silver in the 10km classic in 1994.