Maiken Caspersen Falla

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Maiken Caspersen Falla
2011 Rogla FIS Cross-Country World Cup, Maiken Caspersen Falla.jpg
Falla in December 2011
Full nameMaiken Caspersen Falla
Born (1990-08-13) 13 August 1990 (age 28)
Fet, Akershus, Norway
Height1.61 m (5 ft 3 in)
Ski clubGjerdrum IL
World Cup career
Seasons2008
Individual wins16
Indiv. podiums45
Overall titles0 – (6th in 2015 & 2016)
Discipline titles3 – (3 SP: 20162018)

Maiken Caspersen Falla (born 13 August 1990) is a Norwegian cross-country skier who specializes in sprint and short distance races. She is a three-time Olympic medalist and the 2014 Olympic champion in the individual sprint. She has won four World Championships gold medals and became the individual sprint World champion at the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. She won three consecutive overall Sprint World Cup titles. Her highest finish in the overall World Cup standings is sixth-place which she achieved in 2014/15 and 2015/16 World Cup seasons.

With the total of 16 World Cup sprint victories, Falla is the fourth most successful World Cup sprinter of all-time in terms of victories behind Marit Bjørgen, Petra Majdič and Bente Skari.[1] She also shares the record of most sprint victories in a single season with Petra Majdič at eight victories.

Career[edit]

Falla made her World Cup debut with a classical sprint race in Kuusamo on 29 November 2008 where she finished in 22nd place.[2] She reached her first World Cup podium in Düsseldorf in her second ever World Cup race.[3] With that promising start, Falla was given a spot in the individual sprint race at the 2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec, but she failed to qualify for the quarter finals by finishing 39th in qualifying round.[4] After a podium appearance in her rookie season, Falla could not make the World Cup podium for more than two years. During that span her sixth-place finish at the classical sprint in Kuusamo was helped her to secure a spot in the Norwegian Olympic team for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.[5] At the Olympics, she finished 20th in the individual sprint event.

Falla returned to World Cup podium in 2010/11 season with a third place at the classical sprint in Otepää, then she backed up that performance with a second-place finish in Drammen.[2] With two podiums in the last two sprints prior to the 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, she became one of the medal favorites in the upcoming home World Championships in Oslo Holmenkollen.[6][7] At the World Championships, after setting the third fastest time in the qualification Falla took a fall in her quarter final heat and eliminated from the competition in that stage after finishing third in the heat.[8] After the disappointment in the individual sprint, Falla was not initially considered for the team sprint but after the widhdrawal of Marit Bjørgen, she was selected for the event alongside Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen and the pair went on to take a bronze medal behind the Swedish and Finnish teams.[9][10]

Maiken Caspersen Falla during the World Cup race in Quebec in 2012

In 2011/12 season, Falla won her first World Cup victory in a freestyle sprint race in Rogla, Slovenia.[11] She also reached four more podiums during the season and finished the season in second place in sprint rankings behind Kikkan Randall.[12]

Falla started 2012/13 season in very good form with one victory and three podiums from her first three sprint races. She also reached a podium in a distance race for the first time, a 10 km mass start race in Canmore but her level dropped after mid-January and she could not make a single top 10 in the remainder of the World Cup season.[2] Despite the decrease in performance, at the 2013 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme, Falla won her first individual World Championship medal with a bronze medal in the individual sprint event.[13] For the team sprint race she teamed up with Ingvild Flugstad Østberg but the pair missed the medals and finished in fourth place mainly due to Østberg’s fall in the penultimate leg of the race.[14]

Falla has not started well to 2013/14 season and she managed to reach only one podium in World Cup sprints prior to the Olympics.[2] At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Falla won the gold medal in individual sprint despite more than one year without a victory in the World Cup. She dominated the event from start to finish by setting the fastest time in the qualifying round and winning every heat she competed.[15] She was left out in the team sprint since her teammates Marit Bjørgen and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg has shown better performance in classical discipline throughout the season.[16][17] Although the reason was understandable for many, some people – including Bente Skari – criticized the decision of putting Bjørgen into the team instead of Olympic champion Falla.[18] After the Olympics, Falla earned her sole World Cup victory of the season in the prestigious classical sprint race in Drammen.[19]

In 2014/15 season, Falla recorded four World Cup podiums and her only victory of the season once again came in Drammen.[2] She finished the season in third place in sprint rankings behind her teammates Bjørgen and Østberg.[20] At the 2015 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun, Falla earned her first World Championship gold medal in the team sprint event with Østberg,[21] but once again she had to settle for bronze medal in the individual sprint behind Marit Bjørgen and Stina Nilsson.[22]

Falla’s best season to date in terms of wins came in 2015/16 season. She was the dominant force in sprint races of the World cup throughout the season by winning eight of eleven sprint races she participated and missing the podium only once in the entire season.[2] That was came in Planica where she was dealing with illness.[23] With eight sprint victories, Falla equaled the Petra Majdič’s record of most World Cup sprint victories in single season.[24] At the end of the season she clinched the seasonal sprint World Cup title for the first time in her career.[25]

In 2016/17 season, Falla defended her sprint World Cup title despite being outsprinted by Sweden's Stina Nilsson in most of the sprint races.[26][27] Although Falla has only one sprint victory compared to Nilsson's six, she took the advantage in sprint rankings when Nilsson opted not to ski in Toblach and she maintained it until the end of the season.[28] At the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti, Falla took the gold medal in the individual sprint in a similar fashion to her Olympic title and won the only sprint title that has eluded her in her career. She set the fastest time in the qualification and won every heat she competed during the process while her archrival Nilsson was disqualified in the semifinal.[29][30] By winning the gold medal, she became the second female skier to win Olympic, World and World Cup sprint title after her compatriot Marit Bjørgen who reached that triple crown in 2010 but Falla has the distinction of holding those three honours at the same time. During the championships, Falla added two more gold medals to her medal tally and finished the championships with three gold medals. Along with Heidi Weng, she once again brought the World team sprint title to Norway.[31] She was also the member of the Norwegian relay team that won the gold medal in 4 × 5 km relay, running the opening classical leg.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Falla resides in Lillehammer along with her partner Kristian Hågensen Aune, a former football player who has served as a captain for the Norwegian club Levanger FK for couple of seasons.[33] Her twin brother Marius Caspersen Falla is also a cross-country skier.[34]

World Cup results[edit]

All results are sourced from the International Ski Federation (FIS).[2]

Season titles[edit]

  • 3 titles – (3 sprint)
Season
Discipline
2016 Sprint
2017 Sprint
2018 Sprint

World Cup standings[edit]

 Season   Age  Season Standings Ski Tour Standings
Overall Distance Sprint Nordic
Opening
Tour de
Ski
World Cup
Final
Ski Tour
Canada
2009 18 39 15 N/A N/A
2010 19 55 25 N/A N/A
2011 20 24 6 N/A
2012 21 12 35 2 11 16 N/A
2013 22 19 35 4 14 N/A
2014 23 16 37 5 16 18 N/A
2015 24 6 37 3 7 WD N/A N/A
2016 25 6 20 1 10 WD N/A 10
2017 26 7 24 1 7 WD 7 N/A
2018 27 11 32 1 21 WD 15 N/A

Individual podiums[edit]

  • 16 victories – (12 WC, 4 SWC)
  • 45 podiums – (33 WC, 12 SWC)
No. Season Date Location Race Level Place
1 2008–09 20 December 2008 Germany Düsseldorf, Germany 0.8 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd
2 2010–11 23 January 2011 Estonia Otepää, Estonia 1.2 km Sprint C World Cup 3rd
3 20 February 2011 Norway Drammen, Norway 1.2 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
4 16 March 2011 Sweden Stockholm, Sweden 1.0 km Sprint C Stage World Cup 3rd
5 2011–12 11 December 2011  Switzerland  Davos, Switzerland 1.5 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd
6 18 December 2011 Slovenia Rogla, Slovenia 1.0 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
7 14 January 2012 Italy Milano, Italy 1.4 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd
8 17 February 2012 Poland Szklarska Poręba, Poland 1.6 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
9 14 March 2012 Sweden Stockholm, Sweden 1.0 km Sprint C Stage World Cup 3rd
10 2012–13 8 December 2012 Canada Quebec City, Canada 1.6 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
11 13 December 2012 Canada Canmore, Canada 10 km C Mass Start World Cup 3rd
12 15 December 2012 Canada Canmore, Canada 1.3 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
13 12 January 2013 Czech Republic Liberec, Czech Republic 0.85 km Sprint C World Cup 3rd
14 2013–14 21 December 2013 Italy Asiago, Italy 1.25 km Sprint C World Cup 3rd
15 5 March 2014 Norway Drammen, Norway 1.3 km Sprint C World Cup 1st
16 2014–15 29 November 2014 Finland Kuusamo, Finland 1.4 km Sprint C World Cup 3rd
17 14 December 2014  Switzerland  Davos, Switzerland 1.3 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
18 14 February 2015 Sweden Östersund, Sweden 1.2 km Sprint C World Cup 2nd
19 11 March 2015 Norway Drammen, Norway 1.3 km Sprint C World Cup 1st
20 2015–16 27 November 2015 Finland Kuusamo, Finland 1.4 km Sprint C Stage World Cup 1st
21 13 December 2015  Switzerland  Davos, Switzerland 1.6 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
22 19 December 2015 Italy Toblach, Italy 1.3 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
23 1 January 2016  Switzerland  Lenzerheide, Switzerland 1.5 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 1st
24 3 February 2016 Norway Drammen, Norway 1.2 km Sprint C World Cup 1st
25 11 February 2016 Sweden Stockholm, Sweden 1.2 km Sprint C World Cup 1st
26 20 February 2016 Finland Lahti, Finland 1.6 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
27 1 March 2016 Canada Gatineau, Canada 1.7 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 1st
28 4 March 2016 Canada Quebec City, Canada 1.5 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 2nd
29 8 March 2016 Canada Canmore, Canada 1.5 km Sprint C Stage World Cup 1st
30 2016–17 26 November 2016 Finland Kuusamo, Finland 1.4 km Sprint C World Cup 2nd
31 2 December 2016 Norway Lillehammer, Norway 1.3 km Sprint C Stage World Cup 2nd
32 11 December 2016  Switzerland  Davos, Switzerland 1.6 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
33 31 December 2016  Switzerland  Val Müstair, Switzerland 1.5 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 2nd
34 14 January 2017 Italy Toblach, Italy 1.3 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
35 28 January 2017 Sweden Falun, Sweden 1.4 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
36 18 February 2017 Estonia Otepää, Estonia 1.3 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
37 17 March 2017 Canada Quebec City, Canada 1.5 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 2nd
38 2017–18 2 December 2017 Norway Lillehammer, Norway 1.3 km Sprint C World Cup 1st
39 9 December 2017  Switzerland  Davos, Switzerland 1.5 km Sprint F World Cup 2nd
40 30 December 2017  Switzerland  Lenzerheide, Switzerland 1.5 km Sprint F Stage World Cup 3rd
41 4 January 2018 Germany Oberstdorf, Germany 10 km F Mass Start Stage World Cup 2nd
42 20 January 2018 Slovenia Planica, Slovenia 1.4 km Sprint C World Cup 3rd
43 27 January 2018 Austria Seefeld, Austria 1.1 km Sprint F World Cup 3rd
44 3 March 2018 Finland Lahti, Finland 1.4 km Sprint F World Cup 1st
45 7 March 2018 Norway Drammen, Norway 1.2 km Sprint C World Cup 1st

Team podiums[edit]

  • 5 victories – (1 RL, 4 TS)
  • 12 podiums – (1 RL, 11 TS)
No. Season Date Location Race Level Place Teammate(s)
1 2008–09 21 December 2008 Germany Düsseldorf, Germany 6 × 0.8 km Team Sprint F World Cup 2nd Brun-Lie
2 2009–10 6 December 2009 Germany Düsseldorf, Germany 6 × 0.8 km Team Sprint F World Cup 3rd Brun-Lie
3 2010–11 5 December 2010 Germany Düsseldorf, Germany 6 × 0.9 km Team Sprint F World Cup 2nd Brun-Lie
4 16 January 2011 Czech Republic Liberec, Czech Republic 6 × 1.3 km Team Sprint C World Cup 1st Bjørgen
5 2011–12 4 December 2011 Germany Düsseldorf, Germany 6 × 0.9 km Team Sprint F World Cup 1st Eide
6 2012–13 7 December 2012 Canada Quebec City, Canada 6 × 1.6 km Team Sprint F World Cup 3rd Brun-Lie
7 13 January 2013 Czech Republic Liberec, Czech Republic 6 × 0.85 km Team Sprint F World Cup 1st Østberg
8 2013–14 22 December 2013 Italy Asiago, Italy 6 × 1.25 km Team Sprint C World Cup 2nd Østberg
9 12 January 2014 Czech Republic Nové Město, Czech Republic 6 × 1.3 km Team Sprint C World Cup 1st Østberg
10 2014–15 18 January 2015 Estonia Otepää, Estonia 6 × 1.2 km Team Sprint F World Cup 2nd Østberg
11 2015–16 6 December 2015 Norway Lillehammer, Norway 4 × 5 km M Relay World Cup 1st  Østberg / Johaug / Weng 
12 2016–17 15 January 2017 Italy Toblach, Italy 6 × 1.3 km Team Sprint F World Cup 3rd Jacobsen

Overall record[edit]

Result Distance Races[a] Sprint Ski
Tours
Individual
Events
Team Events All Events
≤ 5 km[b] ≤ 10 km[b] ≤ 15 km[b] ≤ 30 km[b] ≥ 30 km[b] Pursuit Skiathlon Team Sprint Relay
1st place 16 16 4 1 21
2nd place 1 15 16 4 20
3rd place 1 12 13 3 16
Podiums 2 43 45 11 1 57
Top 10 1 5 1 3 3 63 5 81 12 3 96
Points 9 12 1 3 13 7 75 12 132 12 4 148
Others 2 5 3 6 16 16
DNF 4 4 4
Starts 11 17 1 3 16 7 81 16 152 12 4 168
a. 1 Classification is made according to FIS classification.
b. 1 2 3 4 5 Includes individual and mass start races.

Olympic results[edit]

  • 3 medals – (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
 Year   Age   10 km 
individual
 15 km 
 skiathlon 
 30 km 
mass start
 Sprint   4 × 5 km 
 relay 
 Team 
 sprint 
2010 19 20
2014 23 1
2018 27 2 3

World Championship results[edit]

  • 7 medals – (4 gold, 3 bronze)
 Year   Age   10 km 
individual
 15 km 
 skiathlon 
 30 km 
mass start
 Sprint   4 × 5 km 
 relay 
 Team 
 sprint 
2009 18 39
2011 20 13 3
2013 22 3 4
2015 24 3 1
2017 26 1 1 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ "COMPETITORS HAVING MORE THAN ONE VICTORY". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Maiken Caspersen Falla". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  3. ^ Haugli, Kurt B. M. "En liten sensasjon". aftenposten.no (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Jentesprinterne skuffet". adressa.no (in Norwegian). Adresseavisen. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  5. ^ "OL-troppen i langrenn er klar". NRK.no (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Falla større favoritt enn Bjørgen". adressa.no (in Norwegian). Adresseavisen. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Det kommer til å bli helt rått". adressa.no (in Norwegian). Adresseavisen. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Bjørgen tok gull: - Det råeste jeg har vært med på". VG.no (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Kalla: - Like godt å slå Norge uten Bjørgen". VG.no (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Marit trenger hvile". dagbladet.no (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  11. ^ "FALLA UND COLOGNA CLAIM SPRINT VICTORIES IN ROGLA". fischersports.com. FISCHER. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  12. ^ "2011/2012 SPRINT WORLD CUP STANDING LADIES" (PDF). FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  13. ^ "Maiken taklet nervene". langrenn.com (in Norwegian). Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Østberg-fall ødela Norges gullmulighet". vg.no (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Norway's Falla and Hattestad claim gold in Sochi cross-country sprints". theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  16. ^ "OL-mesteren vraket til lagsprinten". VG.no (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  17. ^ "Jeg gjemte gullmedaljen godt, men vurderte å hente den fram igjen". dagbladet.no (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  18. ^ "Bente Skari ville vraket Marit Bjørgen". dagbladet.no (in Norwegian). Dagbladet. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  19. ^ Kahn, Pasha. "Falla Triumphs in Drammen; Randall Secures Third-Consecutive Crystal Globe". FasterSkier.com. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  20. ^ "2014/2015 SPRINT WORLD CUP STANDING LADIES" (PDF). FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  21. ^ "Gull-jentene om seieren: – Utrolig stort". NRK.no (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  22. ^ "Maiken Caspersen Falla: - Ikke stygge mot hverandre". langrenn.com (in Norwegian). Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  23. ^ "Målet nådd for Falla: – Vondt i hele kroppen". NRK.no (in Norwegian). NRK. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  24. ^ "Chiusura con vittoria e record per Maiken Caspersen Falla nella Sprint di Canmore". neveitalia.it (in Italian). Neve Italia. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  25. ^ "STINA NILSSON WINS CITY SPRINT IN QUÉBEC, FALLA THE SPRINT GLOBE". fischersports.com. FISCHER. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  26. ^ Naranja, Gabby. "Another Sprint Victory for Nilsson; Falla Defends Sprint Crystal Globe in Quebec". FasterSkier.com. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  27. ^ "2016/2017 SPRINT WORLD CUP STANDING LADIES" (PDF). FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  28. ^ "Längdlandslaget till vc-tävlingarna i Toblach". skidor.com (in Swedish). Swedish Ski Association. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  29. ^ "Falla and Pellegrino are World Sprint Champions 2017". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  30. ^ "Russisk-svensk krangel etter Nilssons fall". vg.no (in Norwegian). Verdens Gang. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  31. ^ "Falla og Weng sikret sprintgull til Norge". tv2.no (in Norwegian). TV 2. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  32. ^ "Gull-Falla fikk tips av vrakede Østberg". framtidinord.no (in Norwegian). Framtid i Nord. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  33. ^ "Kristian er blitt en ekte gullgutt". innherred.no (in Norwegian). Innherred. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  34. ^ "Tvillingbroren om gulljenta: - Hun sliter med selvtilliten". aftenposten.no (in Norwegian). Aftenposten. Retrieved 26 January 2018.

External links[edit]