European map reveals autumn – NRK Sport – Sports news, results and broadcast schedule

European map reveals autumn – NRK Sport – Sports news, results and broadcast schedule

– It seems as if Norway is always 10 years ahead of other countries, says Italy coach Marcus Kremer.

Ahead of this weekend’s five-mile race in Holmenkollen, six of the men’s World Cup top eight are Norwegians. Several times, Norwegian men have almost covered the top of the hit lists.

Developments in the past decade have made the coach profile a concern.

Klæbo is in the lead during the combined 30km of Planica.

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo is at the front of the field in the 30km sprint during the WC in Planica. Best Foreign Language Award, William Buruma (4th) finished fourth. The worst Norwegian was ranked fifth.

Photo: Heiko Junge/NTB

Johannes Høsflot Klæbo is at the front of the field in the 30km sprint during the WC in Planica. Best Foreign Language Award, William Buruma (4th) finished fourth. The worst Norwegian was ranked fifth.

Photo: Heiko Junge/NTB

Evolution appears

Throughout the 2000s, the picture was different.

Different countries took turns winning and climbing the podium, both in the tournament and in the World Cup. One year, Norway only had Petr Northog among the top 15 World Cup players overall.

But something started to happen in the years after WC Oslo skated in 2011.

Despite the impact of the Corona pandemic and the Russian exclusion on the past few years, the trend was clear.

There was less and less spread at the top.

The NRK map for Ski Europe shows how the elite men’s World Cup cross-country skiing has changed over the past 20 years.

The map shows the countries whose runners finished in the top 15 at the World Cup Finals each season from 2004 to 2023. The number of runners from each country is shown in red.

The development in the map shows how several countries have almost disappeared from the top of the men’s side:

  • Nine consecutive years it has not Germany One male runner in the top fifteen in the World Cup overall. This year they have a feud.
  • Sweden He was at most one male runner in the top fifteen for seven consecutive years, after the home course in 2015.
  • For several years he was a performer of Switzerland , Dario Colonna, the competitor from Central Europe. Now Switzerland is lost on the men’s side.
  • After the Czech star Lucas Bauer also resigned Czech Republic gold. This year they have a runner-up in the top 15.
  • It also disappeared outside Europe Canada When Alex Harvey resigned in 2019.

Ivo Niskanen faces Dario Colonna, Canadian Harvey and three Norwegians. Now Canada and Switzerland are far from the top cross country on the men’s side.

Photo: ODD ANDERSEN/AFP

At the same time, Norway has always had nearly half of the top-fifteen runners in the World Cup over the past decade.

– You need more states

Statistics don’t lie. But I was pleasantly surprised after the Russians disappeared. If you ignore the men’s distance races, I think there are more nations than ever before, says Vidar Lofchos.

From 2006 to 2019, Loveshus was the manager of the Norwegian national cross country team. At his last tournament, the Norwegians took all the gold.

In the sprint race at the recently concluded World Championships, France won the bronze medal, but in Løfshus’ tenure as leader, the cross-country finish changed.

– We need more countries on the platform, says Cramer.

German Moch in front of Johannes Høsflot Klæbo during the Tour de Ski in Oberstdorf in January.  There was a complete lack of natural snow in the area.

German Friedrich Moch in front of Johannes Høsflot Klæbo during the Tour de Ski in Oberstdorf in January. There was a complete lack of natural snow in the area.

Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/AP

German Friedrich Moch in front of Johannes Høsflot Klæbo during the Tour de Ski in Oberstdorf in January. There was a complete lack of natural snow in the area.

Photo: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/AP

Russia, where he was the national team coach for several years, banned after the invasion of Ukraine. It has opened up to quite a few countries. Outside of Europe, the United States has a men’s runner in the top 15 at the World Cup for the first time in the past 20 years. There is also Great Britain.

But the Russian-Norwegian dominance in the years leading up to the Russian ban pushed the contestants from other countries out at the top considerably.

The previous four seasons averaged 11 top 15 finishes in the world from Norway and Russia in the men’s team.

Marcus Hellner crossed the finish line as the winner of the Olympic three-mile in 2010. There were no Norwegians in the race then.

Marcus Hillner won the 30 km race during the 2010 Olympics. There were no Norwegians at that time.

Photo: PAWEL KOPCZYNSKI/REUTERS

Marcus Hillner won the 30 km race during the 2010 Olympics. There were no Norwegians at that time.

Photo: PAWEL KOPCZYNSKI/REUTERS

The figures for the last three world championships are also clear for both sexes.

  • Norwegian and Swede men and women together claimed 83.3 percent of the medals in the individual WC events in this period.
  • The two nations have won five times as many medals individually as all the other nations combined.
  • Only American Jessica Diggins and Russia’s Alexander Polsonov broke the Norwegian-Swedish winning streak in WC in this period.
  • At last year’s Olympics, Norway took five medals out of a possible 12 golds. Russia was the best in the men’s team.

But this year, Norway was again almost dominant on the men’s side. During the Planica WC, there was at least one Norwegian double win in all of the men’s individual exercises.

– If you beat a Norwegian in the restroom, you speed up. I am satisfied with that. It’s great to break the Norwegian hegemony a bit, as Swede William Buruma pointed out according to Expressen, when he had a Norwegian 15 kilometers behind him.

At three miles and 15 kilometers, the Swede was the only athlete to beat a single Norwegian runner.

More problems

Kramer admires the Norwegian achievements and the work behind them. But he sees negative developments in Central Europe.

  • Worse snowy conditions
  • Few athletes provide less talent
  • The level of training must be built. take time.
  • TV exposure
  • Sponsor support

Cross-country skiing is not the first sport. Many young runners are switching to biathlon, says Kramer.

He believes action must be taken so more small nations can assert themselves in cross-country skiing. Among other things, he wants to do more exercises with women and men on the same team.

In the last race before the WC, Norway had eight top ten finishes. Earlier in the season she was Lillehammer seven times.

One of the best non-Scandinavian men’s distance runners in the WC, Norway deserves to have several runners at the start of the World Cup.

– For other countries it would have been fine with fewer, but that’s okay, because they have many great athletes. It would have been unfair, says Germain Friedrich Mosch, if they had been given less opportunity to begin.

trade downturn

After a long failure for Germany, the main international sponsor of cross-country skiing, Weissmann, pulled out of the sport in 2018, citing a lack of interest in major markets. Then the German company extended sponsorship agreements in leaps and bounds instead.

– Kramer says there’s a big difference from 10 to 15 years ago.

Among other things, Germany then had a number of top athletes.

Marcus Kramer, coach of the Italian national team.

Italy national team coach Markus Kramer has worked in Germany, Switzerland and Russia.

Photo: Terje Pedersen/NTB

At the same time, viewership of cross-country skiing has dropped dramatically in recent years. This appeared in a report prepared by the “Nielsen” media analysis agency for the Islamic Salvation Front.

And when the German men won the bronze medal at the WC Relay, German TV did not broadcast that race live. The day before, the women’s relay was broadcast live.

The German Ski Federation told NRK that the explanation they had received was that there was no belief in the men’s medal. As a result, only a recap was sent in the tapings before the show jumped last Friday.

—It’s a disaster for cross-country skiing in Germany and Central Europe when it’s not broadcast live on TV, says Kramer, who is German himself.

Only Eurosport broadcasts the relay.

In recent years, there has been a rise in Russian TV viewership, which has been mitigated by lower international TV numbers, prior to the ban on our neighboring country. But according to last season’s report, total viewing figures for cross-country skiing are down 20 percent since the 2017/18 season.

problem

German national team manager Peter Schleckenreider himself was among the best sprinters in the world in a period when Germany was among the dominant nations.

He has previously advocated that fewer Norwegian runners be allowed to go, so that the dominance is reduced.

The German team won the bronze in Planica.

The German team won the bronze medal in the water cycle relay. It was the first medal since the 2011 water cycle.

Photo: Matthias Schrader/AP

Schleckenreider believes that the big problem in Germany is to get more coaches involved in the sport.

– The biggest challenge… If you don’t have coaches, you don’t have kids. When a club has coaches, they have kids. Then it doesn’t really matter if they have the money or the snow, because then you can recruit skiers. German says it’s about culture.

He sees that Norway has a good system for developing sprinters from a young age. In Germany, it is believed that many parents, getting into the sport, think that they should develop a world champion from the age of 12.

– So you have a problem that they don’t have the skills to start proper training when they get to the top level. It’s a big advantage for Norway and Sweden, who also have a fairly good system, says the German.

See the effect

Løfshus believes that conscription in Norway, compared to other countries, plays a role in development. But he also believes the shoe can put pressure on the training front among competitors.

Among other things, he is seeing an impact after Cramer takes charge of the Italian sprinters. In the past, Federico Pellegrino was a stable sprinter, winning medals in sprints.

Italian Pellegrino on the finish line for the silver during the team race.

Italy’s Pellegrino crosses the finish line to claim the silver medal in the team sprint behind Norway.

Photo: Matthias Schrader/AP

Italy’s Pellegrino crosses the finish line to claim the silver medal in the team sprint behind Norway.

Photo: Matthias Schrader/AP

– Kramer has a very Norwegian coaching philosophy. He knows what it takes. And I think I’ve seen a little bit more broadly that Italy has risen up, says Lofchos, who now works for national team clothing sponsor Kraft.

Italy just before the World Cup won its first relay in 17 years.

changing image

The situation changed among the women, although Norway and Sweden dominated throughout the tournament. In the World Cup, the top seven riders are now from six different countries. Back in 2015, six Norwegian women were crowned top overall.

However, Cramer didn’t see the big change on German television, even though German women won Olympic gold last year.

– Before, you could watch everything live on TV. Now it looks like a little sport on the side. When you’re not on TV, you also lose sponsors, says Cramer.

See also  Marit Björgen: - Concerned: - Society has changed
Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *