The World Cup is only four races a weekend away, but athletes are already starting to notice how the new, more even points system works. Simen Hegstad Krüger (29) is not impressed.
– I think it turned out to be a mistake, I have to be honest, says Lyn’s runner, and The winner of the last World Cup race before Christmas, to VG.
– I think the points system was fairer the way it was. Now you’re greatly rewarded for taking part in ski races, rather than sprinting through the competitions you’re in, she says Krugerwho are part of the Norwegian team that will go on the Tour de Ski in space for Christmas and in the New Year.
He’s not the only one who responded.
The Swedes did the same Star duo Frida Karlsson and Maja Dahlqvist a few weeks ago.
Change is here to stay
But there was an idea behind the change, which came in the spring of 2022. At that time, the FIS (International Ski and Snowboard Federation) decided to introduce the now-controversial new points system (see factbox a bit larger on this).
on their own own websites They wrote that the goal was to bridge the gap between athletes, while not “diminishing” the best results. The FIS also wrote that the change would lead to long-distance runners seeing the value of going to sprint races and vice versa.
Today, FIS race director Michel Lamblot says they have also received feedback from the organizers that a lack of profiles has led to a drop in turnout for the races.
He has something to say about Kruger’s critique:
– We’re not even in the middle of the season. Then he says I will not conclude if it works or not.
Lamplot understands that losing two or three World Cup finals in a weekend stings on points. There are potentially 6-9 contests and potentially 600-900 points.
– It’s a problem, of course. But if it is a matter of having to stop due to illness or other reasons, this has happened before as well.
– But I understand him and what he says. The motive is to motivate athletes to enter competitions. We’ll assess this post-season, but we’ll first see the impact on how athletes prioritize after some time.
So this system is here to stay?
– Yeah, it’s well worth the time so we can see how it pans out. It wouldn’t be a good idea to go back again without spending some time.
Kruger, for his part, is clear that whoever wins the World Cup has to be stable, but still “out there” and win ski races. He feels that this is not what is required now.
Even if you win a ski race now, you shouldn’t have to face many ski races before you have the chance. He says it’s completely wrong in my head.
In both the women’s and men’s sides, even without Russian participation, there are now six different nations represented in the World Cup top 10 overall.
Johannes Hosflott Klæbo told VG he hasn’t made up his mind one way or the other yet. But he has no problem making trouble for the new arrangement.
Trønder uses Iivo Niskanen as an example. The Finn, widely regarded as the best classic runner in the world, contracted the coronavirus early this season and was ruled out of all competitions at this year’s World Cup.
He has almost no chance of winning in general now and when it comes to the World Cup, we could lose him on more World Cup weekends. Then the whole point went. You need to reward those who win ski races the most.
– Do you really mean that the new system is wrong?
– It’s too early. But Ivo is a good example of a player we can lose so many World Cup weekends. We don’t want that. It’s hard to draw conclusions too early, but it’s positive to reward people for going to the World Cup. Then some adjustments are needed. You have to reward finishing in the top five with more points, says Klæbo.
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