Grøvdal has been denied participation in WC – NRK Sport – Sports news, results and broadcast schedule

Grøvdal has been denied participation in WC – NRK Sport – Sports news, results and broadcast schedule

-We were rejected at first. It's too late, says Caroline Berkeley Grovdal.

She is in Belgrade to prepare for the World Cross Country Championships, The race is broadcast on NRK 1 from 12.40 Saturday.

But it was not a given that the 33-year-old Norwegian would be allowed on the starting line.

Admittedly, she is a three-time European champion in the exercise in a row, and from an athletic point of view, she is clearly qualified for the World Cup. But when she wanted to register, a problem arose:

-FGrovdal says the network was available for countries to register their interests.

Head of Sports at the Norwegian Athletics Federation, Erlend Slokvik, confirms the presence of flounder at the World Cup.

– Two months before these tournaments, each individual country informs whether it wishes to participate. When that deadline passed, none of our athletes showed interest, Slokovic tells NRK.

THREE IN A ROW: Caroline Berkeley Grovdal has won gold in cross country three years in a row.

Photo: Anders Skjerdingstad/NRK

I got no

In recent seasons, Norwegian long-distance runners have had a tradition of giving priority to the annual European Championships, which are held in December.

The World Championships, held in late winter and early spring, passed mostly without Norwegian participation. Often, the best Norwegians would gather at high altitudes during this period to prepare for the track season.

But when Caroline Berkeley Grovdal claimed victory in the New York Half Marathon on March 17, and realized that this year's cross-country race was no match for staying high on her side, she wanted to give it a shot.

However, Slokovec's investigation of the World Cup organizers had a disappointing outcome.

– We were told that she could not participate, and that the deadline had passed, he says.

But as you know, there are several roads that lead to Rome. The Secretary General of the International Association of Athletics Federations, Ketil Heldeskur, sent an inquiry to the International Association of Athletics Federations. They have chosen to make an exception to the regulations, so that the three-time European champions Norway will still be allowed to participate in the World Cup.

Athlete Grete Waitz celebrates after winning the world cross country championship.  Here you go to the sea.

FIVE GOLDS: Grete Waitz has been the best female cross-country runner in the world for a number of years. Here she won her third consecutive gold medal in the Longchamp WC in 1980.

Photo: Agence France-Presse

– Perhaps the most difficult

Caroline Bjerkely Grovdal herself has competed in the World Cross Country Championships once before. That was in 2010. That time she never made it to the finish line.

However, Norway has traditions that it is proud of. In 1978, Grete Waitz won her first of a total of five World Cup gold medals in cross country. In 1988, Ingrid Christiansen won Norway's last world championship gold medal in these exercises.

Despite three consecutive gold medals at the European Championships and a win in New York, Grovdal is not on the roster for the world championships.

It's a bit nice to be competing in cross country at the World Championships when I've won three gold medals at the European Championships, but it's a really tough competition. She points out that it's probably the hardest racing, street and track and everything, because each country can bring six pieces.

World Cup track in Belgrade

Salam: The Belgrade toilet offers, among other things, a winding run between bales of straw.

Photo: Caroline Pierkely Grovdal/Private

mail: – A sensational medal

Normally, each country can field three athletes in the International Athletics Championships, but exactly at the World Cross Country Championships, the number is six. Kenya once placed in the top six in the women's category and field a very strong team in 2024 as well.

World champion Beatrice Chebet finished only fourth in the Kenyan qualifying race.

So getting into the top 10 in cross country at the World Championships is tough, that's all. But I'm good at cross-country running, it's been my strength in a way. “So I think it's a race where I don't have any pressure,” says Grovdal, who aims to last as long as possible.

NRK commentator Jan Post believes this is a sensible strategy.

– It would be great if Grovdal wins a medal in this tournament, because the level of the best is very high. But from fifth onwards, it becomes open, Post analyzes.

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Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

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