In the women’s relay race, Finland is not the biggest contender for medals. Can Norway and Sweden offer an equally entertaining fight for gold this time?
At 14.10 the women follow 4 × 5 km
Commentators: Chrisso Vogarvey and Matthias Strandvall
Finland: Jasmi Joensuu, Joanna Mattintalo, Rita-Lisa Robonin, Krista Barmakowski
Sweden and Norway are in a category of their own and are offset for gold. The question is whether viewers have shown an equally exciting match as it was two years ago at the World Cup in Seefeld when Stena Nelson clinched the golden battle over Sweden’s supremacy in the race.
Sweden is also a favorite today. The only unconfirmed card is double world champ Jonna Sundling who leads the first stage. Does she have enough stamina?
Norway has the steepest skater Therese Joujo in the third stage. Then Iba Anderson moved to Sweden.
The World Cup for Russia did not go completely according to the notes, but the Russian team is tied and has the bronze at the crossroads.
Finland then? If everything goes according to plan, you can fight for bronze, but the more realistic goal is to improve your sixth place in WC 2019.
Matthias Strandvall’s analysis: Realism for Finland is the fourth to sixth order. In the best of worlds, Finland can compete for a bronze medal with Russia and the United States. Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia and France may also join the battle for medals.
I think Russia looks like a bronze medal, while the United States and Finland make up the fourth and fifth places.
The longer Finland stays in the leading group, the greater the chance of getting a medal. Finland has no catching skiers, so it’s important to catch up.
It is Sweden’s advantage in the battle for gold. Norway has a superior card in Therese Johuj and as expected you travel in the third leg because the freestyle stages go down a tougher path.
But Sweden has Iba Anderson in the third stage and can almost take on Juhoj.
Sweden has a greater breadth than Norway. They have Charlotte Kalla the best relay skater in Sweden ever in the second stage against Heidi Wing who doesn’t seem to be at her best.
Frida Carlson finished and did better than Helen Marie Fuscholm in the restroom.
At 16.10 Nordic combination, cross-country skiing is 10 km
Commentators: Mikael Uivo and Matthias Strandvall
Finland: 19 Ilkka Herola +2: 45, 20 Perttu Reponen +2: 49, 26 Otto Niittykoski +3: 21, 30 Eero Hirvonen +3: 30
Ilkka Herola and Eero Hirvonen had bad luck with changing wind conditions during the glide moment. Both could greatly improve their position over long distances, but there won’t be a Finnish medal this time.
Talented back-jumpers Johannes Lambert, Akito Watape and Jarl Magnus Rieber sliced a large gap between the other medalists as they battle for the gold medal at the World Cup.
Superb Riiber starts racing 37 seconds behind Lampartre and has to work hard on the track to catch up with the 19-year-old Junior World Championship. Akito advances Watabe to Riiber for 15 seconds. The battle for gold can evolve into a tactical fox game.
Perttu Ripponen and Otto Niticuski were delighted with their performances on the big hill. Both newcomers to the World Cup have better chances to take places than in the last solo competition with Ribonen finishing 26th and Niticowski 34th.
18.30 HS137 ski jump, men’s qualifying
Commentator: Mikael Oivo
Finland: Arttu Pohjola, Eetu Nousiainen, Niko Kytösaho, Antti Aalto
19-year-old Artu Bohjula makes his World Cup debut. He reached Oberstdorf for the second week of the World Cup, improving on every leap in training, and taking Jarkko Määttäs’s place in the team.
If Pohjola leaps as he did on his last training jump, he will definitely pass the qualifiers on his first World Cup participation. Eetu Nousiainen’s direction in training was negative, but like Pohjola he should have a clear qualification if he maintains the same level as he does in his better training jumps.
Niko Kitosaho and Ante Aalto didn’t impress much during Wednesday night’s training. They didn’t do it in regular hill drills either, but they still had the top 30 in the competition.
Being in the top 50 qualifying teams should not cause problems for the Finnish Eagles, who are clearly leading the way for this season.