LILLEHAMMER (VG) Tiril Udnes Weng (25) impressed as the only Norwegian woman in the sprint final at home. Pre-favorite Maja Dahlqvist (27) ensured a Swedish victory.
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– This is incredibly fun, at the same time as it is a relief. Finally I started a final where I felt I could compete. Now I just want more. It has not been the easiest start to the season, but now we are up and running, says Udnes Weng to NRK.
Before the final of the Olympic skating exercise, Udnes Weng had the chance to take his first podium place in the World Cup ever. From the start, she went both cheap and smart, and into the last hill she got hung on the back of experienced Jessica Diggins.
In the last turn, she attacked the pre-favorite Dahlqvist. It almost went, but in the race the American Diggins came in between. Still, she could cheer for her career’s first podium finish in the World Cup.
– There are countless hours of hard work behind this, said NRK’s expert commentator Torgeir Bjørn in the third place was a fact.
The 25-year-old admits that the podium was welcome, especially considering that it has taken a few years. After the final, she almost had trouble absorbing what had just happened.
– I’m getting old, so I’m almost starting to doubt if this is something I’ll get. But now I have faith in myself. Now this just has to sink in, says Udnes Weng.
The sisters Udnes Weng both looked strong, right from the prologue at home. Tiril walked almost to the final, while twin sister Lotta just did not advance in time from the semifinals.
Maiken Caspersen Falla finished fifth in the first semi-final heat.
In the second heat, it was the Swedes Dahlqvist and Emma Ribom who came in first and second. Strong times also ensured that Rosie Brannan and Anamarija Lampic followed the Swedes to the finals. The latter two finished fifth and sixth in the final.
– I felt very strong, but I had a pretty bad position along the way, said winner Dahlqvist to the organizer after the finish.
On the men’s side won Johannes Høsflot Klæbo in front of Thomas Helland Larsen and Richard Jouve.