The season preparations seem to be right on track for Norwegians Hanna Midtsundstad and Jarl Magnus Riiber. The duo took the top honours in the Norwegian national championships during a big Nordic Combined weekend in Lillehammer. Team veteran Magnus Moan and Hanna Midtsundstad won the customary city sprint the day before.
September in Lillehammer is sprint time. As customary in the last years, the Nordic Combined team advertised its sport to the public in an attractive city sprint format. Four ladies and 16 men advanced to the one on one fights in Lillehammer’s city centre after a prologue.
For the ladies, it was Hanna Midtsundstad, who beat Mari Leinan Lund in the final heat and took the victory in a time of 43,46.
In the men’s category, team veteran Magnus Moan proved once more that he is hard to beat on roller skis. After beating Marius Solvik, Espen Andersen, and Jakob Eiksund Saethre along the way, Moan faced off against Harald Johnas Riiber in the finals. With 27.77, he was just a tiny bit faster than Riiber (27,92) and took the win.
On Sunday, the Lillehammer-weekend finished with the summer national championships. While Midtsundstad continued with her winning ways already in the jumping part of the event (85 m; 96.5 p.), youngster Simen Kvarstadt had all the attention after beating Jarl Magnus Riiber on the jumping hill. Kvarstad, born in 2000, soared to 97.5 metres (127,5 p.) and gained a narrow 2 second head start over Riiber (90 m, 126,9 p.). Also fellow youngsters Jørgen Oliver Strøm and Einar Lurås Oftebro showed great performances on Lillehammer’s HS 100 hill to take the intermediate positions three (92.5 m; 118 p.) and five.
In the race, however, Kvarstad did not stand a chance against more seasoned, faster skiers and went back to a final 15th position. Riiber skied a controlled race and reached the finish line 16 seconds earlier than local hero Mikko Kokslien, who outsprinted fellow national team member Magnus Krog for the third position (+0;18). Espen Andersen finished fourth, Harald Johnas Riiber fifth and Espen Bjørnstad was sixth.
On the ladies’s side, Karoline Bjerke Skadvedt claimed the first pursuing spot with 82.5 metres but had a whopping one minute and 54 seconds to make up on Midtsundstad. The jumping leader also proved to be the fastest skier by far, needing 17:16 for the 5 km course. Marte Leinan Lund claimed the final second position, finishing three minutes and 38 seconds behind Midtsundstad. Mari Leinan Lund was third (+04:16).