Cross-country skiing at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2007

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Cross-country skiing was one of the three disciplines of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2007, held between February 22 and March 4, 2007 in Sapporo, Japan.

The distances and skiing styles were unchanged from Oberstdorf, and as in 2005, nine different nations won medals. However, France and Canada were without medals this time around, replaced by Belarus, who won their first medal ever through 19-year-old Leanid Karneyenka, and Slovenia, for whom Petra Majdič won silver on the very first day of the Championships.

Norway took the most medals: twelve medals of a possible 36, with five of twelve golds, despite falling in the men's team sprint where the Norwegians were defending champions. However, compared to 2005 Norway had one less gold medal and two fewer medals, largely due to the less than stellar performance of Marit Bjørgen, who won five medals in Oberstdorf, but earned her best individual finish of ninth in the 30 km event in Sapporo. However, Norwegian skiers won both the sprint and 15 km for men, events they had not taken in 2005, as well as dominating the 50 km with gold and silver.

Finland took three golds and a bronze, all by Virpi Kuitunen, who won the most medals at the games, while Germany won six medals but only one gold with Tobias Angerer in the 15 km + 15 km double pursuit where German skiers finished first, second and fourth. Russia won four medals, earned by the men's team (sprint and relay: both silvers) and Olga Zavyalova, but also had to suffer with a doping controversy with newcomer Sergey Shiryayev being disqualified for EPO doping and serving a two-year ban as a result.

The Czech Republic won three medals, with Kateřina Neumannová winning a gold and a silver medal at her final World Championships to retire with five medals, as did Italy, where 35-year-old Cristian Zorzi won his first gold medal at the World Championships with a team sprint win along with Renato Pasini. Finally, Sweden won two medals, with substitute Mats Larsson winning silver in the individual sprint, and the relay team winning bronze.

Men's events[edit]

Individual sprint classical[edit]

February 22, 2007 at the Sapporo Dome. The defending champion was Vasili Rotchev of Russia. Svartedal's third international win of the season was the most important one, improving significantly from his previous career-best 11th place. Rotchev was eliminated in the semi-finals after losing contact with Swedes Björn Lind and Emil Jönsson over the final climb; Lind, the Olympic sprint champion, reached the final but lost the sprint for bronze to Rønning. Larsson, who was a reserve for former the world champion Thobias Fredriksson, was the best Swede to finish after passing Rønning at the final curve.[1][2]

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Jens Arne Svartedal (NOR) 3:03.8
Silver  Mats Larsson (SWE) 3:04.0
Bronze  Eldar Rønning (NOR) 3:04.6
4  Björn Lind (SWE)
5  Andrew Newell (USA)
6  Emil Jönsson (SWE)
B final
7  Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset (NOR)
8  Vassili Rotchev (RUS)
9  Mattias Strandvall (FIN)
10  Janusz Krężelok (POL)

Team sprint freestyle[edit]

February 23, 2007 at the Sapporo Dome. The defending winners were Norway's Tore Ruud Hofstad and Tor Arne Hetland. Zorzi edged Rotchev at the line to earn the gold. The Czech Republic team of Šperl and Kožíšek earned the bronze after the favored Norwegian team fell at the end of the third leg, causing the team to finish seventh in the final.[3][4]

Medal Team Athletes Time
Gold  Italy Renato Pasini 17:50.6
Cristian Zorzi
Silver  Russia Nikolay Morilov 17:50.6
Vassili Rotchev
Bronze  Czech Republic Milan Šperl 17:51.3
Dušan Kožíšek
4  Germany Tobias Angerer 17:51.4
Axel Teichmann
5  Poland Maciej Kreczmer 17:51.4
Janusz Krężelok
6  Canada Devon Kershaw 17:54.9
Drew Goldsack

15 km freestyle interval start[edit]

February 28, 2007 at the Shirahatayama cross-country course. Pietro Piller Cottrer of Italy was the defending champion. Biathlete Lars Berger, with three World Championship medals in men's biathlon (including a silver medal at the most recent championships in the 4 x 7.5 km relay at Rasen-Antholz), started early and went through half the race before snow started to fill the tracks. This would prove advantegous when the third of the 121 starters, Leanid Karneyenka, with no World Cup starts and a previous best of 16th from the World Junior Championships, won silver, Belarus' first medal at the World Championships. Angerer, the World Cup leader, earned his second medal at the championships with a bronze. Berger is the first person to win medals in both the biathlon and nordic skiing world championships in the same year.[5][6] Austria's Johannes Eder originally finished fourth in this event, but was disqualified on November 22, 2007 after the FIS issued a two-year doping suspension in the wake of Eder's action during the Winter Olympics in Turin the previous year. Eder had appealed the initial ban in 2006 only to have the FIS reinstate the ban the following year.[7]

The results below are correct as of November 29, 2007.

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Lars Berger (NOR) 35:50.0
Silver  Leanid Karneyenka (BLR) 36:25.8
Bronze  Tobias Angerer (GER) 36:42.4
4  Axel Teichmann (GER) 37:04.6
5  Alexander Legkov (RUS) 37:06.4
6  Franz Göring (GER) 37:07.9
7  Johan Olsson (SWE) 37:09.3
8  Marcus Hellner (SWE) 37:13.0
9  Pietro Piller Cottrer (ITA) 37:14.3
10  Anders Södergren (SWE) 37:19.0

15 km + 15 km double pursuit[edit]

February 24, 2007 at the Shirahatayama cross-country course. France's Vincent Vittoz was the defending champion, but the Frenchman lost contact at the end of the classical section, never recovered, and finished tenth. The top three positions at the end of the classical part were Germany's Jens Filbrich (who finished fourth), Sweden's Mathias Fredriksson (who finished 14th), and Angerer. A peloton of 15–20 skiers entered the last lap in the lead, but Angerer blew the field apart in the final climb, reducing the field to six in the last 500 metres. Norway's Petter Northug, at his first individual World Championship appearance, advanced through the six-man group in the final 500 m stretch, but stuck a pole between his skis and took a tumble with approximately 300 metres to the finish, eventually finishing fifth. Teichmann beat Angerer in a dash to the finish, while Piller Cottrer settled for bronze. Teichmann and Angerer are the first Germans to win gold and silver at the same distance in the cross-country portion of the World Championships.[8][9]

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Axel Teichmann (GER) 1:11:35.8
Silver  Tobias Angerer (GER) 1:11:36.3
Bronze  Pietro Piller Cottrer (ITA) 1:11:36.7
4  Jens Filbrich (GER) 1:11:39.0
5  Petter Northug (NOR) 1:11:44.0
6  Alexander Legkov (RUS) 1:11:45.3
7  Lukáš Bauer (CZE) 1:11:51.3
8  Anders Södergren (SWE) 1:11:51.6
9  Toni Livers (SUI) 1:11:51.7
10  Vincent Vittoz (FRA) 1:11:52.4

50 km classical mass start[edit]

March 4, 2007 at the Shirahatayama cross-country course. Frode Estil of Norway was the defending champion and lost it in the final meters of the event to fellow Norwegian Hjelmeset in a race where the lead changed hands continuously, as more and more people fell off the leading group. At 5 km, the top three were Eldar Rønning (Norway), Jean Marc Gaillard (France), and Dan Roycroft (Canada), in a peloton still consisting of nearly 60 skiers. Rønning and Roycroft would fall off within 25 km, while Gaillard stayed with the peloton for nearly 40 km. By the 20 km mark, the leaders were Sweden's Anders Södergren (who would finish 14th), Hjelmeset, and Estil, with a field of 20 remaining within ten seconds of the leader. At the 35 km mark, a group of nine had taken the lead, with Estil, Lukáš Bauer of the Czech Republic (who would finish fifth after leading for most of the second of half of the race), and Gaillard in the top three positions. Midway through the race, Hjelmeset suffered a broken binding and had to have one of his skis replaced.[10] Four skiers fell off before the last 3.75 km loop, leaving two Norwegians, two Germans (Jens Filbrich and Tobias Angerer), and Bauer to fight for the medals. The two Norwegians attacked at the 48 km mark, and then held on for first and second. It was Hjelmeset's third championships gold medal, the first in an individual event. Germany's Filbrich would earn the bronze, his first individual medal in his championship history.[11][12][13]

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset (NOR) 2:20:12.6
Silver  Frode Estil (NOR) 2:20:13.0
Bronze  Jens Filbrich (GER) 2:20:17.1
4  Tobias Angerer (GER) 2:20:23.1
5  Lukáš Bauer (CZE) 2:20:25.7
6  Martin Bajčičák (SVK) 2:20:53.6
7  Jean Marc Gaillard (FRA) 2:21:36.6
8  Jaak Mae (EST) 2:21:46.2
9  Nikolay Pankratov (RUS) 2:21:50.6
10  Ville Nousiainen (FIN) 2:22:27.5

4 x 10 km relay[edit]

March 2, 2007 at the Shirahatayama cross-country course. The defending champions of this event were the Norwegian foursome of Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset, Frode Estil, Lars Berger, and Tore Ruud Hofstad which they successfully defended following a race in which the lead changed hands at the line on all four legs of the event. The top three after the first leg were Finland (who finished sixth), France (who finished fifth), and Norway with Finland's Ville Nousiainen having the fastest leg of 25:39.4. Leaders after the second leg were a tie for first with Norway and Sweden, followed by Russia with Sweden's Mathias Fredriksson having the fastest time of 24:45.5 (also the fastest time in the classical legs of the event). Russia, Norway, Sweden were the top three leaders after the third leg with Russian Alexander Legkov having the fastest time of 20:03.0 (also the fastest time in the freestyle legs of the event). Petter Northug of Norway had the fastest time in the anchor leg (20:15.1) to propel the Norwegians to the gold ahead of Russia and Sweden while Dementiev edged Södergren by 0.3 seconds to help Russia earn the silver over the Swedes.[14][15]

Medal Team Athletes Time
Gold  Norway Eldar Rønning 1:30:49.2
Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset
Lars Berger
Petter Northug
Silver  Russia Nikolai Pankratov 1:30:52.4
Vassili Rotchev
Alexander Legkov
Yevgeny Dementyev
Bronze  Sweden Martin Larsson 1:30:52.7
Mathias Fredriksson
Marcus Hellner
Anders Södergren
4  Germany Jens Filbrich 1:31:39.7
Franz Göring
Tobias Angerer
Axel Teichmann
5  France Jean Marc Gaillard 1:32:15.0
Vincent Vittoz
Emmanuel Jonnier
Alexandre Rousselet
6  Finland Ville Nousiainen 1:32:55.5
Sami Jauhojärvi
Juha Lallukka
Teemu Kattilakoski

Women's event[edit]

Individual sprint classical[edit]

February 22, 2007 at the Sapporo Dome. Emelie Öhrstig of Sweden was the defending champion. Majdič led for almost the entire race, with 20-year-old Jacobsen in second ahead of the season's dominant skier Kuitunen. In the final dash, Jacobsen came from behind to nip Majdič at the line. Majdič won Slovenia's first ever medal in cross-country skiing at the World Championships.[16][17]

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Astrid Jacobsen (NOR) 2:50.9
Silver  Petra Majdič (SLO) 2:51.1
Bronze  Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) 2:51.2
4  Anna Dahlberg (SWE)
5  Madoka Natsumi (JPN)
6  Lina Andersson (SWE)
B Final
7  Pirjo Manninen (FIN)
8  Ida Ingemarsdotter (SWE)
9  Manuela Henkel (GER)
10  Marit Bjørgen (NOR)

Team sprint freestyle[edit]

February 23, 2007 at the Sapporo Dome. The defending champions in the event were the Norwegian duo of Hilde Gjermundshaug Pedersen and Marit Bjørgen. Kuitunen and Jacobsen earned their second medals of the championships.[18][19]

Medal Team Athletes Time
Gold  Finland Riitta-Liisa Roponen 16:20.9
Virpi Kuitunen
Silver  Germany Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle 16:21.6
Claudia Künzel-Nystad
Bronze  Norway Astrid Jacobsen 16:24.0
Marit Bjørgen
4  Sweden Britta Norgren 16:40.5
Lina Andersson
5  Kazakhstan Oxana Jatskaja 16:42.8
Elena Kolomina
6  Belarus Viktoria Lopatina 16:44.0
Olga Vasiljonok

10 km freestyle interval start[edit]

February 27, 2007 at the Shirahatayama cross-country course. The Czech Republic's Kateřina Neumannová was the defending champion, and avenged her defeat to Zavyalova in the pursuit race by leading the entire race to win by 26.5 seconds. Neumannová led the entire race while Savialova and Norway's Kristin Størmer Steira were second and third at all three checkpoints. In the final kilometres, Arianna Follis rallied by gaining 11 seconds in the final 1.7 km to beat Steira by four seconds. Zavyalova managed to hold on by finishing 3.7 seconds faster than Follis, but a couple of minutes later Neumannová finished in first place to defend her title.[20][21]

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Kateřina Neumannová (CZE) 23:58.4
Silver  Olga Zavyalova (RUS) 24:24.9
Bronze  Arianna Follis (ITA) 24:28.6
4  Kristin Størmer Steira (NOR) 24:33.9
5  Charlotte Kalla (SWE) 24:41.9
6  Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle (GER) 24:44.4
7  Riitta-Liisa Roponen (FIN) 24:48.4
8  Valentina Shevchenko (UKR) 24:51.7
9  Kristina Šmigun (EST) 24:56.3
10  Natalya Korostelyova (RUS) 24:57.2

7.5 km + 7.5 km double pursuit[edit]

February 25, 2007 at the Shirahatayama cross-country course. Russia's Julija Tchepalova had been the defending champion, but was not defending her title due to being on maternity leave. The top three skiers leading at the end of the classical portion were Charlotte Kalla of Sweden (she finished seventh), Kristin Størmer Steira of Norway, and Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland (she finished ninth). Størmer Steira led the field through the first lap of the free style leg of the pursuit, with the lead group down to four in the last lap, including Steira, Olga Zavyalova, Kateřina Neumannová and Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle. Zavyalova led for the entire final lap, and held on in the dash for the finish, while Sachenbacher-Stehle could not keep up with the group and finished fourth. World Cup leader Virpi Kuitunen lost contact with the leading group at the end of the classical leg and did not finish the race.[22][23]

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Olga Zavyalova (RUS) 41:27.5
Silver  Kateřina Neumannová (CZE) 41:28.0
Bronze  Kristin Størmer Steira (NOR) 41:29.6
4  Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle (GER) 41:32.1
5  Riitta Liisa Roponen (FIN) 41:51.5
6  Aino Kaisa Saarinen (FIN) 41:52.4
7  Charlotte Kalla (SWE) 41:53.6
8  Marianna Longa (ITA) 41:53.2
9  Justyna Kowalczyk (POL) 41:59.5
10  Kristina Smigun (EST) 42:07.0

30 km classical mass start[edit]

March 3, 2007 at the Shirahatayama cross-country course. Marit Bjørgen of Norway was the defending champion and would finish ninth. Defending Olympic champion Kateřina Neumannová of the Czech Republic did not start. Kuitunen came in as the heavy favorite for the event given her performance in previous classical skiing events during the 2006–7 World Cup season. Johaug, Steira, and Kuitunen broke away around the 13 km mark,[24] and Johaug remained within the leading group until 19 km, when Steira and Kuitunen pulled away. Kuitunen would beat Steira to win her third gold of the championships, first individual gold, and fourth total medal. The 18-year old Johaug, who only had two World Cup races in her career prior to this event, would take bronze.[25][26]

Medal Athlete Time
Gold  Virpi Kuitunen (FIN) 1:29:47.1
Silver  Kristin Størmer Steira (NOR) 1:29:54.0
Bronze  Therese Johaug (NOR) 1:31:09.9
4  Aino Kaisa Saarinen (FIN) 1:31:30.1
5  Petra Majdič (SLO) 1:32:04.5
6  Kristina Smigun (EST) 1:32:19.4
7  Lada Nesterenko (UKR) 1:32:37.9
8  Olga Zavyalova (RUS) 1:32:54.1
9  Marit Bjørgen (NOR) 1:33:15.0
10  Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle (GER) 1:33:31.5

4 x 5 km relay[edit]

March 1, 2007 at the Shirahatayama cross-country course. Norway's relay team of Vibeke Skofterud, Hilde Gjermundshaug Pedersen, Kristin Størmer Steira, and Marit Bjørgen were the defending champions. Finland lead from start to finish in the event with both Kuitunen and Saarinen earning the fastest times in the classical legs of the competition (13:53.0). Roponen had the fourth fastest time in the third leg (first in freestyle) while Manninen had the tenth fastest time in the anchor leg, but the Finns had too big of a lead and were able to hold off the anchor leg of Germany's Sachenbacher-Stehle. The top three positions after the first leg were Finland, Norway, and Switzerland while the leaders after the second leg were Finland, Norway, and Germany. Sweden's Charlotte Kalla had the fastest time in the third leg (12:32.3), moving the Swedes from sixth to third after the third leg behind Finland and Norway (Sweden would finish fourth in the race) while the Czech Republic's Kateřina Neumannová had the fastest time both in the freestyle and the anchor legs (12:27.8) to move the Czechs from seventh to fifth. Sachenbacher-Stehle passed Norway's Jacobsen with 500 meters left in the race to earn Germany the silver medal by 3.8 seconds over the Norwegians.[27][28] Pirjo Manninen joined her older brother Hannu in becoming the first brother and sister to win gold medals at the same championships. Hannu had won the Nordic combined sprint and team events earlier in these championships.

Medal Team Athletes Time
Gold  Finland Virpi Kuitunen 54:18.6
Aino-Kaisa Saarinen
Riitta-Liisa Roponen
Pirjo Manninen
Silver  Germany Stefanie Böhler 54:30.5
Viola Bauer
Claudia Künzel-Nystad
Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle
Bronze  Norway Vibeke Skofterud 54:34.3
Marit Bjørgen
Kristin Størmer Steira
Astrid Jacobsen
4  Sweden Anna Dahlberg 54:50.3
Lina Andersson
Charlotte Kalla
Britta Norgren
5  Czech Republic Helena Erbenová 55:02.9
Kamila Rajdlová
Ivana Janečková
Kateřina Neumannová
6  Italy Magda Genuin 55:14.7
Marianna Longa
Sabina Valbusa
Arianna Follis

Doping controversy[edit]

On February 21, 2007, Sergey Shiryayev of Russia was involved in pre-competition testing for doping with a blood and urine sample. The blood sample in the "A-test" turned out high in hemoglobin, so the "B-test" was evaluated and confirmed to contain EPO. Shiryayev, who had his best finish of 11th in the 15 km event at the championships, was subsequently disqualified on March 4, 2007. FIS President Gian Franco Kasper expressed both disappointment in Shiriaev's doping actions and happiness in the efficiency of FIS's doping controls.[29] Shiryayev's case was heard in Portnoz, Slovenia at the FIS Council Meeting in May 2007.[30] The result of the hearing was Shiryayev receiving a two-year suspension from the FIS with two coaches receiving sanctions from the Russian ski federation because of this.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Men's individual sprint final results – Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  2. ^ Eurosport.com victories for Svartedal and Jacobsen – Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  3. ^ Eurosport.com report on Italy's victory – Retrieved February 23, 2007.
  4. ^ Official results in men's team sprint – Accessed Februiary 23, 2007.
  5. ^ Berger wins 15-km title, Eurosport.com. Retrieved February 28, 2007
  6. ^ Official results in 15 km freestyle men. Retrieved February 28, 2007
  7. ^ FIS announced doping suspensions of Austrian cross-country skiers following doping failures at 2006 Winter Olympics. – Retrieved November 29, 2007.
  8. ^ Eurosport.com results on Techmann's victory – Retrieved February 24, 2007
  9. ^ Official results of men's 15 km + 15 km double pursuit. – Retrieved February 24, 2007.
  10. ^ FIS Newsflash Edition 117. March 7, 2007.
  11. ^ Eurosport.com news on the men's cross country 50 km event. – Accessed March 4, 2007.
  12. ^ Official results on the men's cross country 50 km event. – Accessed March 4, 2007.
  13. ^ Norwegian wins cross country race, Associated Press. Retrieved March 4, 2007
  14. ^ Eurosport.com report on the men's 4 x 10 km. – Accessed March 2, 2007.
  15. ^ Official results on men's 4 x 10 km. – Accessed March 2, 2007.
  16. ^ Eurosport.com report on Svartedal and Jacobsen's victories – Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  17. ^ Women's individual sprint final results – Retrieved February 22, 2007.
  18. ^ Eurosport.com news on Finland's win – Retrieved February 23, 2007.
  19. ^ Official results on women's team sprint. – Retrieved February 23, 2007
  20. ^ Neumannova romps to gold, from Eurosport. Retrieved February 27, 2007
  21. ^ Women's 10 km official results – Retrieved February 27, 2007.
  22. ^ Eurosport.com resport on Savialova's win. – Retrieved February 25, 2007.
  23. ^ Official results on 7.5 km + 7.5 km double pursuit. – Retrieved February 25, 2007.
  24. ^ Kuitunen, Ackermann, Malysz get fourth world titles, monstersandcritics.com
  25. ^ Eurosport.com result on Kuitunen's victory – Accessed March 3, 2007.
  26. ^ FIS official results on women's 30 km event. – Accessed March 3, 2007.
  27. ^ Eurosport.com news on Finland's victory in the women's 4 x 5 km. – Accessed March 1, 2007.
  28. ^ Official results in the 4 x 5 km relay – Accessed March 1, 2007.
  29. ^ Shiryayev tests positive for doping at the championships (German) – Accessed March 4, 2007.
  30. ^ FIS Newsflash Edition 117. March 7, 2007.
  31. ^ FIS Doping Panel sanctions four athletes

External links[edit]