January 28, 2023

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Verdenscup i nordiske grener på Lillehammer

Devon Kershaw sounds the alarm after the Norwegian dominance – NRK Sport – Sports news, results & broadcast schedule

– We should have good, honest discussions now. If not, then in five years it will be very difficult to raise money and maintain interest in the sport, says Devon Kershaw, former world relay champion from Holmenkollen.

His phone was filled with messages from other Canadians wondering how Norwegian hegemony was possible. The ski pensioner refers to Norway’s World Cup achievements as “extremely sick” and “extremely impressive”. But he worried.

– On the side of men, there is a complete dominance that I have not seen before. You’ve never had as much dominance as you do now, Kershaw says, before adding:

– It’s not Norway’s problem, it’s international skating’s problem. If it continues, not only does one risk it becoming an A, B or C sport internationally. Then it becomes a sport.

WC SUCCESS: Devon Kershaw and Alex Harvey won WC gold in the team sprint in Holmenkollen in 2011. They defeated Norway in the battle for the gold.

Photo: DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN/AFP

The winners of the first four races are the Norwegians: Johannes Hosflotte Kleibeu and Ever Tildheim Andersen. The name of the World Cup manager is Pål Golberg. The race in Lillehammer on Friday is referred to as the Norwegian Cup and National Championships. Emil Iversen joked that it was a “low-key Norwegian Cup” because only twelve Norwegians participated.

Nine of them are among the top ten.

Only Andrew Musgrave – working for Røa and receiving the help of Norwegian oiling – hung at the top. The Scotsman is still number four. Even reserve Henrik Donstad, who had to be recalled from a long trip at Sjusjøen, was number 15.

– He’s completely crazy. What Ever Tildheim Andersen did today… He ran his second World Cup race and then won. This is the standard in Norwegian cross-country skiing.

Kershaw believes the evolution has been visible over several years – and action should now be taken from smaller nations and the International Ski & Snowboarding Federation (FIS). The past few years have been mostly about two states on the men’s side, especially in the long-distance race. Norway and Russia.

Not great for this sport

When the latter is not on the starting line, it will be a Norwegian Grand Slam.

– Other countries are far away from where they were. I think when you miss Germany, which was very strong 15 years ago…then you miss strong distance runners like Pietro Bieler-Cottrier (Italy). The French struggled a bit. You no longer have Vincent Vitos. Getting old, Kershaw continues: Morris Magnificat:

Canada has promising athletes, but it’s not there. The United States the same. It looks very bad internationally.

NRK expert Torgeir Bjørn agrees that continued dominance is not a favourite. He thinks the trend is clear: Norway dominates a lot. At the same time, he believes there are easy factors at play this season:

Torgeir Bjørn in the World Cup race in Kuusamo.

NRK EXPERT: Torgeir Bjørn.

Photo: Mikal Aaserud/NRK

– Russia is out. Ivo Niskanen is still sick and the Swedes miss skating today.

Norway often dominates at the start of the season. We’ve seen equally dominant Norwegian teams on certain occasions in the past, but we’re likely to see them more than before. It’s not best to be allowed to stay on for too long, says Bjørn, highlighting two examples:

  • The Kuopio World Cup begins in the 2001/2002 season with eight Norwegians finishing in the top eight.
  • Eight Norwegians among the top ten in Oberstdorf in December 1996.

– that it Great for Norway, but not great for the sport. We’d prefer more foreigners there. I’m not surprised, there is a very high level in Norway on the men’s side, Hans-Christer Holland tells NRK.

The 15km world champion, like Bjorn, believes he will succeed later in the season. Swede William Buruma, still in 11th place, believes and hopes the same:

It’s boring for me as a Swede to see it that way. But they go fast, and today everything seems to be going well for them. For us today, it doesn’t quite work and then it will make a big difference, Buruma tells NRK.

Cross-country skiing, World Cup, Lillehammer, men's 10 km

The Swedish Hope: William Buruma.

Photo: Marius Sminsen/Bilderbronn

Kershaw: – frustrating and fun

Kershaw fears that the Norwegian hegemony will affect an uninterested international audience. And when performances shine in her absence abroad, sponsors and money disappear. Then there will not be much left to invest.

– It’s time for small teams to look themselves in the mirror and consider the possibilities of working with clusters, smudges and the like. Because it can lift up entire nations. Success begets success. The youngest need a car.

He speaks sympathetically about the subject. The former world champion is publicly engaged. If the distance between the Norwegians and others continues at the same level, he believes that they will also lose confidence.

If you get crushed year after year after year, you are suddenly in a position that many believe they can no longer compete with. It is disturbing on the part of men. What’s frustrating and a little interesting: Money is important, but you can’t lose faith that you can actually make it happen.

Nordic World Cup in Roca

BRAUT REKKJA: Federico Pellegrino (left) with World Cup coach Pål Golberg after the third race in Ruka this past weekend. Pellegrino finished third behind Johannes Hosflotte-Kleibeuw and Gulberg in the 20 km freestyle start. He is one of the favorites to climb the podium in Saturday’s sprint.

Photo: Terje Pedersen/NTB

So far, only one foreigner, Italy’s Federico Pellegrino, has stood on the podium at Rocca and Lillehammer. He is among the favorites who will find success again when there is a sprint at the Birkebeineren Ski Course on Saturday morning.

note! TV 2 shows the race from Lillehammer, while NRK Sport broadcasts the radio broadcast. The introduction starts at 09.30. Final temperatures will begin at 12.00.

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