Jarl Magnus Riiber and Gyda Westvold Hansen started the season in the right way: by claiming the Norwegian national titles at the season opening in Beitostølen. While Westvold Hansen dominated the ladies’ event and won with an advantage of over one minute, Riiber won both the 5 km and 10 km Individual Gundersen events clearly.
Both Westvold Hansen and Riiber were the jumping winners of the first portions of the respective events held in Midtstuen earlier in the week. Gyda Westvold Hansen showed 92 metres and started her race with a 20-second advantage on fellow great jumper Thea Minyan Bjørseth, who had landed at 86 metres. Marte Leinan Lund started her race from the third position with a delay of one minute and 48 seconds after jumping to 79,5 metres.
10 ladies in total were the first ones out on the track in Beitostølen and put on quite a show for the interested spectators and on national television. While Westvold Hansen was never in danger and steadily increased her advantage on Minyan Bjørseth in the 5 km race, the second-placed jumper had to race for her life as fourth-placed Ida Marie Hagen pulverised a two minute and 16 seconds disadvantage and caught Leinan Lund and also Minyan Bjørseth to come away with the second rank in the end. Bjørseth defended the third position, ranks four to six went to Marte Leinan Lund, Hanna Midtsundstad and Mille Moen Flatla.
Double victory for Jarl Magnus Riiber
On the men’s side, Jarl Magnus Riiber dominated the field. Two jumps of 102 m and 104.5 metres put Riiber in the pole positions for both, the 5 and the 10 km race.
While the younger generation around Riiber, Espen Andersen and Einar Lurås Oftebro shone in the 5 km event, big Norwegian names Jørgen Graabak, Magnus Krog, Jan Schmid and Magnus Moan fought for the remaining podium places.
In the 5 km race, Espen Andersen showed a strong and tactical cross-country race that led him to a safe silver medal, finished 39.2 seconds after Riiber, about the same time behind as he had started but two positions up the rankings as youngster Einar Lurås Oftebro and Harald Riiber were not able to stop Andersen on the last lap. Oftebro proved to be stronger than Riiber and so the 20-year-old added another national medal to his resume.
Magnus Moan, who trained outside of the national team over the summer, was the best of the experienced athletes, finishing in fifth position, +58.5 seconds after Riiber, Jan Schmid was sixth, Jørgen Graabak seventh and Jens Lurås Oftebro, Simen Tiller and young Simen Kvarstad completed the Top Ten.
In the 10 km race, Riiber showed that he is not only able to pace himself well on the shorter distances. In the end, it was 51 seconds that separated Riiber from a bigger pursuing group that had all the big names of Norwegian Nordic Combined. Things took a dramatic turn when Jørgen Graabak fell in a sharp turn leading up to the last uphill before the stadium. But the 2014 Olympic Champion was did not appear ruffled and not only closed the gap to Jan Schmid, Magnus Moan and Magnus Krog again but used his supreme sprinting abilities to take the silver medal of the day. Magnus Krog redeemed himself with the bronze medal after a rather underwhelming performance on the previous day.
Final Results 10 km
Ski Jumping Results