Silje Opseth, 24, got a big boost in show jumping when she won the World Cup race in Willingen, Germany, on Sunday.
The Norwegian jumper impressed, among other things, with his giant leap of 150 meters in the second round, thus securing the sixth World Cup victory of his career.
But not everyone thinks Opseth should have won.
After the competition ended, clips of the Norwegian winner were circulated on social media, and former World Cup winner Sarah Hendrickson reacted to what she saw.
The American believes that Opseth should be eliminated and points out the size of the jumpsuit.
“Come on, FIS, this suit is crazy,” Hendrickson writes on Instagram, among other things.
The former world champion has yet to respond to Nettavisen's inquiry on Monday, but on Instagram she compared Opseth's suit to a flying squirrel and believes she qualifies for elimination.
-This has been going on for a very long time, writes Hendrickson.
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Obseth shakes his head
Opseth told Nettavisen she was surprised by the American's reaction.
– It's special, I have to say that, Opseth tells Netavicin.
– I wonder why you do that. If she had followed through, she would have seen that we weren't the only ones trying to improve the equipment, Opseth says.
The Norwegian winner explains that, like the foreign competitors, she is constantly working to provide the best possible equipment. Opseth also explains that she was under control both at the top of the hill and after she jumped on Sunday.
– Opseth says: – No problems.
There will still be talk of jump suits, and you think they'll have to live with it.
– The Islamic Salvation Front tries to make the sport as fair as possible. It's good to have a set of rules that means no one can get too controlling, Opseth says.
She is still very happy with her first win of the winter.
– It meant a lot to me and the team, says the 24-year-old.
Former national team captain Maren Lundby heard American Hendrickson's reaction.
She criticizes the play.
– I think it's brutal to say. I've seen it myself on Instagram and have seen similar “stories” from her before. Lundby tells Netavicin that the Islamic Salvation Front is the one doing the screening, and Celje has definitely been screened.
– I prefer to give credit to Silje and the Norwegians because they clearly got a good suit according to the current regulations, says the former Olympic and World Cup champion.
Lundby believes it would be wrong to criticize Opseth when she passes the inspection.
– In the same way that we work with technology, we work with equipment. They've been good at it, and maybe that's what they've been missing so far in the season. It's about using your mind, working with the equipment, and adhering to regulations, Lundby says.
-Is there anything that could have been done differently to avoid these reactions and speculation?
Equipment is part of sports. I feel that when letters like this come from former athletes, I get the impression that they don't fully understand what's involved. Sports are evolving and whoever emerges victorious has done the best job. Instead, you should choose to look at it this way, Lundby says.
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Maren Lundby is hosting the Stavrum & Eikeland podcast next Thursday!
Viaplay commentator: -Awesome and funny
Viaplay's Peter Tenstad commented on Sunday's race and realized that Opseth's photos could cause a stir.
– I think it's cool and funny at the same time that there's a big difference between the suits, as Selje comes with a large suit, while for example Romanian Daniela Haralambi's suit looks very tight compared to Obseth's suit.
– It is thanks to the Norwegian apparatus that they were able to prepare such a suit that passed inspection, says Tenstad.
A Viaplay commentator caught Sarah Hendrickson's reaction.
“It will be at her expense,” says Tinstad.
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However, he believes that the allowances will continue to generate discussions until the FIS can develop a system of completely objective measurements of the allowances.
He himself wants a system where jumpers are vetted before competition weekends and approved for two suits they can use in competitions.
– Those suits are distributed at the top, before they have to jump, and so they must be under the control of the FIS except when they have to jump.
It is also believed that jumpers should be weighed from above before jumping, so that the weight is approximately the same as during the dressage examination.
Tinstad believes it will be a good solution to put an end to the many disqualifications that occur during races.