Fantastic World Championships in Lahti reach halfway mark

After one full week of action at the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti (FIN), there has been no shortage of memorable moments and fantastic performances in the first seven days of competition.

On Wednesday, 1st March, local hero Iivo Niskanen gave the Finnish crowd what they were all hoping for as he took the 15km classic win in the Cross-Country event. His gold is the third Finnish medal of the Championships.

After 14 of the 21 competitions have been completed, Germany holds a slight edge over Norway in the medal table with nine in total compared to Norway's eleven medals. Germany has five golds whereas Norway has four gold medals.

Norway’s strength has been on the ski tracks with all but one medal coming in Cross Country. Two athletes, Marit Bjoergen (NOR) and Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov have earned two gold medals thus far. Italian Federico Pelligrino, Swede Charlotte Kalla and local hero Niskanen also have two medals in their Lahti 2017 collection.

The Germans, meanwhile, have dominated Nordic Combined, earning a podium sweep in the first individual competition and following up with gold in the team relay event in addition to claiming gold in the second individual event. The five Nordic Combined medals account for half of Germany’s total haul so far.

The Germans other four medals have come in Ski Jumping, where they have been equally strong, with two gold medals, including the mixed team event. Carina Vogt is the only ski jumper with double gold, winning both the individual and mixed team medal. Austrian Stefan Kraft took the gold in the men’s individual normal hill and followed up with a silver medal in the mixed team event. Japan has also been strong notably thanks to their ladies performances, taking three medals in the first three competitions.

Away from the tracks and hills, the city of Lahti and the venue have been buzzing with activity, from the Medal Plaza for nightly awards to the Fan Festival on site, giving spectators a chance to warm up with some Finnish delicacies and entertainment between events. The weekend brought nearly 60,000 fans out to cheer on the athletes as a sell-out 35,000 enjoyed ideal sunny skies on Saturday, followed by approximately another 30,000 spectators on Sunday.

There are still five days of competition left in Lahti, with some of the premiere events still to come including the Ski Jumping men’s individual and team large hill competitions, the Cross Country relays and 30 km and 50 km free races and the Nordic Combined Individual and Team Gundersen on the large hill. It is sure to be grand finale to an already fantastic World Championships.