Wednesday, May 18

Responds to a statement about Johaug: – Frida Karlsson is completely wrong

National team coach Ole Morten Iversen thinks Sweden’s Olympic hope Frida Karlsson (22) knows Therese Johaug (33) “a little too badly”.

OLYMPIC RIVALS: Frida Karlsson and Therese Johaug.

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Johaug is chasing his first individual Olympic gold and is the biggest favorite for the distance exercises in Beijing. But she has not competed since December 12 in Davos – that means a month and a half without measuring strength on the course.

– She’s probably a little nervous about where she stands now. It uses to be like that when you have not competed for a long time, Karlsson said at a press conference according to The online newspaper.

Karlsson added that she thought Johaug was confident in her plan.

Ole Morten Iversen answered firmly when he was confronted with Karlsson’s words.

– Then I think Frida Karlsson is completely wrong. I’m pretty sure the athletes do not need as many cross-country skis to go good cross-country skiing later. As long as you are confident that it is good training that makes you ski fast, it is more than good enough – and that applies to Johaug, says Iversen.

– I think Frida knows Therese a little too badly, he states.

So far this winter, Karlsson and Johaug have served up some wonderful duels on the ski slope. Before the Olympics, it is 2-2 between the rivals.

Johaug was also asked about Karlsson’s claim, and admits that she is excited about where she stands.

– Of course I’m excited when you start the Olympics. I think everyone is, regardless of whether you have competed a lot or little. There will probably be nerves, says Johaug.

At the Olympic camp in the Italian heights in Seiser Alm, she has felt that she is in good shape.

– At least I hope so. I feel I have had a very good period, both at home and at height here, and have prepared myself optimally. But it is difficult to say when I have not had competitions against others, we will see, says Johaug.

She stood over the Tour de Ski, as one of the few top runners, but had planned to go to the World Cup weekend in France 14-16. January. The gutters were canceled due to the pandemic.

Iversen says that Johaug has run two test races in Seiser Alm as a replacement.

– Therese has been strong all year, and perhaps better trained than ever. The ski runs so far I do not think have been close to her top form. She has had some hard sessions where I do not think there are many who had followed her.

– I can confirm that Therese seems solid and strong.

The last time has been tough for the Norwegian camp after Heidi Weng, Anne Kjersti Kalvå and Simen Hegstad Krüger were diagnosed with coronavirus just before the planned departure.

The Beijing Olympics start with a 15-kilometer ski change for the women on 5 February. The biggest favorites? Therese Johaug and Frida Karlsson.

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