Tour de Ski goes without both Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (31) and Maiken Caspersen Falla (31). Østberg’s health situation means that she will also lose the Olympics in February.
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This is announced by the Norwegian Ski Association in a press release.
– Ingvild’s health situation is unfortunately not good enough to compete in the tour, says medical officer Øystein Andersen.
– The planned follow-up after the first races shows that her health situation can not stand the race program. Ingvild must therefore once again take a longer break from competitions, which means that the Olympics unfortunately come too soon.
Thus, Østberg will not be seen in either the Tour de Ski which starts on December 28 or the Olympics in Beijing in February, despite uplifting results recently.
– This was an incredibly tough message to get, says Ingvild Flugstad Østberg.
– I have put in an extremely large amount of work, done my best, felt good and enjoyed participating in cross-country skiing again. Dreams are shattered, but I can do nothing but look ahead.
She ran the World Cup races in Ruka, Lillehammer and Davos with uplifting development after a competition break of over a year and a half. For a long time, Østberg did not meet the requirements in the health certificate for skiers.
Especially in Davos, Østberg showed progress with an 8th place in the 10 kilometer. National team coach Ole Morten Iversen said after that weekend (11/12 December) that Østberg was close to an Olympic venue.
Even though the Olympic place did not go, the national team coach believes the plan for Østberg was good.
– A plan was made, which was followed. Unfortunately, that did not hold. Getting started again was the only opportunity she had to think about the Olympics. It was a good plan, which we did not succeed with, says Iversen to VG.
– Everyone who knows Ingvild understands that this is very tough for her. It was not the Christmas she had hoped for.
– How are you going to take care of her?
– It’s a bit dependent on what she wants. It’s too early to say now. It is seldom wise to make big plans when you are in the middle of it.
Maiken Caspersen Falla also loses the Tour de Ski.
Falla has in recent seasons run a few races and struggled with the airways, and had trouble finding out the problem. The championship specialist told VG earlier this autumn that it will not completely let go.
Falla still managed to enter the World Cup silver in the sprint last season and was on the podium during the World Cup opening in Ruka
– Maiken has not found her way back to the energy she needs to go on the tour, says Iversen.
– She therefore stays at home and prepares for the winter competitions and championships.
Anna Svendsen and Ane Appelkvist Stenseth replace Østberg and Falla in the Tour de Ski.
Therese Johaug drops the tour to train for the Olympics. Heidi Weng is thus Norway’s perhaps greatest hope in the tour that starts in Swiss Lenzerheide on December 28: