Ragnhild Haga (30) thinks ten seconds could have changed a lot – and given her an Olympic place.
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Four years ago, Ragnhild Haga became Olympic champion in 10 kilometer freestyle.
During the Tour de Ski, she figured out where it was going. When she came home, national team coach Ole Morten Iversen called. She is not in the squad.
– My goal this year was the Olympics and that I should be the podium candidate in the 15 kilometer joint start with ski change, Haga says to VG.
Eight other ladies were given priority in front of her. She is number one in the queue behind those who get an Olympic trip to Beijing.
– I get most annoyed with myself for not performing earlier this season. I have done quite well, but have lacked the finishing touch, says Haga, who also took Olympic gold in the relay last.
Haga started the season well, 3rd and 5th place during the national cross-country opening. Then it was 31st place and one minute and 48 seconds behind Frida Karlsson during the World Cup opening in Ruka in the 10 kilometer classic.
Sad after trouble
The 30-year-old from Holter in Nannestad rose considerably to Lillehammer and was number 10 in the 10 kilometer freestyle, but four Norwegian ladies were better in that race. Had she gone 10 seconds faster, she would have had only three Norwegian ladies in front of her. During the Tour de Ski she became number 12 in the 10 kilometer freestyle in Lenzerheide. Had Haga gone ten seconds faster, she would have been the second best Norwegian, not the fourth best as she became. During the tour she broke the staff in Oberstdorf and Val di Fiemme, then there were some tears.
– If I had gone ten seconds faster in some cross-country skiing, I would have dropped a number of questions, then I would have stopped blaming myself. But I get to see the positive, there is a lot of other things that have been good, I have made mine and I have studied a bit, says Haga, who was dropped from the national team after last season.
One month before the Olympic relay: – It is a thin team
But when Ole Morten Iversen called for the Tour de Ski, he asked if she would join the precamp to Seiser Alm as a reserve. If someone gets sick or gets a positive coronation test, Haga joins China. But no one is joining Asia as a reserve.
– The Olympics are complex for me, I have mixed feelings. I have come to the conclusion that I would like to perform a little better this season. At the same time, I still have little hope. I hope no one gets sick, but I still have a small opportunity, says Haga.
The 30-year-old travels to Seiser Alm on Friday.
– I do not like the reserve role. There is nobody. But I will train anyway, so now I get to train and be with good girls, says Haga.
PS! These eight ladies have been selected for Olympic cross-country skiing: Therese Johaug, Heidi Weng, Helene Marie Fossesholm, Anne Kjersti Kalvå, Mathilde Myhrvold, Maiken Caspersen Falla and the twins Tiril and Lotta Udnes Weng.