Wednesday, May 18

The Swedes marveled at the Norwegian results: – Strange

No Norwegians on the podium, and Johannes Høsflot Klæbo in 40th place during Sunday’s skiathlon was a disappointing Norwegian day.

– It is a tough course, but I had hoped that we would be closer than we were today, said national team coach Eirik Myhr Nossum after the race.

The Swedish camp was also sure that the Norwegian cross-country boys would fight for the podium before the start. They are simply amazed at the Norwegians’ results.

– I think it’s a little strange, they have shown throughout the season that they are so strong. That they did not get it today, I think is a little strange, says William Poromaa to TV 2.

– Did you see the Norwegians as clear medal candidates before the race?

– Yes, absolutely, the Swede answers quickly.

– What do you think may have gone wrong?

– I have no idea. It is clear that one can have bad days. Holund is close, so there is a lot that can come into play.

Northug will set a world record down Holmenkollen

– Gets paid for altitude training

The Swedes’ Jens Burman was also surprised by the performance of the Norwegian skiers.

– That’s probably how it is in sports, it’s up and down. You can not take everything for granted, that’s the way it is and anything can happen. But if I had tipped in advance, I would have thought that some Norwegians would be there. But there will probably be more distances where they will be on the podium, says Burman to TV 2.

Hans Christer Holund became the best Norwegian in 4th place, two and a half minutes behind Aleksandr Bolshunov. It is the first time since the opening weekend in Ruka that no Norwegian men’s runners are on the podium.

TV 2 expert Petter Northug believes that the Norwegian runners are now suffering from a lack of altitude training over time.

– We know that Bolshunov has spent several years at the height and get paid for it. Therese Johaug has been a lot of heights and gets paid for it. The Norwegian men have downgraded height a bit and, like Johannes, have taken a skipper over the last year. It is not certain that it is good enough before a championship in height, says Northug.

Reveals his favorite Norwegian

National team coach Eirik Myhr Nossum thinks the criticism is a slap in the face.

– I do not think there are many who have more altitude days than he who becomes number four today. He has been at the height for a month in a row. I do not think we could have done so much differently except for the last part, which we can not do anything about. I do not use it as an excuse, no, says Nossum to TV 2.

– Not ideal

Holund believes the days in the lowlands before the Olympics were not ideal.

– I have been at the height for a long time, so I can probably not blame it. But we get an outbreak of infection in the squad which means that we come to China a little later than we would rather do. And then we got three days in Norway … Three days in the lowlands is not ideal. Ideally, we should have traveled straight from the heights to China. But it’s a little out of our control. You can criticize us as much as you want, but we can not do anything about it. It is difficult to plan. We simply had no other choice than what we did, says Holund.

Pål Golberg also believes he has made good height preparations for the Olympics.

– I have a little over 80 days. Optimally, we should have had three weeks this summer that were canceled due to uncertainty with covid. I feel that I am well prepared, but the last few weeks may not have been completely optimal. But we have come here, are healthy and need to look a little ahead and. There are five distances left, so we can not dig ourselves down, says Golberg.

He describes the 30 kilometers as brutal.

– We knew it would be tough, and it was. The hope was to compete for a medal, and I will probably be until we change skis. Then it gets a little too tough, and then I feel that here I have to try to fight for what I can, and it was fifth place today, Golberg says to TV 2.

– Can you put your finger on what it was that got too tough?

– Yes, the snow, the slopes, the height.

– The Swedes are surprised that there were no Norwegians on the podium. What do you have to say to that?

– Historically, we tend to fight for the medals and we did not do that today. As a team, it’s a disappointment, but we just have to admit that someone was better than us, and then we have to pick up the gloves and try to do better next time. It is a boring answer, but simple, says Golberg.

Tough trails

The Swedes agree that there are tough trails.

– It is a very tough trail, we are high up and treading snow. It is clear that it will be very decisive. But I think it’s good, it’s the way it should be in skiing. If you do not have the day, it runs away quickly. Then it becomes very clear that you do not have the stamina, says Burman, who himself describes the race as his worst in his career:

– I could not stand anything, it was very strange. I had a very hard time on the classic part. I tried to keep up, but it did not work. I barely got up the hill on the classic part. I fought, but there was no chance in the world for me to hang on, says the Swede honestly.

Burman finished in 24th place, while it went far better for Poromaa who was number 6.

– It was pretty tough from the start. I’m happy, it suits me well that it goes fast. I struggled a bit on the classic part, so I was a little uneasy before the skating, but I immediately felt that I was alert, so it was good, says Poromaa.

But he also acknowledges that the tracks in this year’s Olympics are a trial.

– If you have a bad day on these trails, there will be great distances. It’s a tough track and there are tough conditions.

Golberg and the rest of the Norwegian cross-country guys are now looking forward to the rest of the Olympic distances, where they hope to do far better than Sunday.

– I hope and believe that I will hopefully get a little better for the next ski race. At least that’s how I try to think.

Poromaa has no doubt that Norway will return stronger later in the Olympics.

– Absolutely. They are probably hungry for revenge, and there are many days left.

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