|Scandinavians Dominate First World Cup|
Norwegian youngster Marit Bjoergen, traditionally a classic skier and a member of the silver medal realy team at the 2002 Olympic, was the surprise winner of Saturday’s women’s skate sprint in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Bjoergen, who qualified in 2nd position, dominated all day, leading most heats and winning in aggressive style.
Italy’s 30k 2002 Olympic champion Gabriella Paruzzi placed 2nd with Norwegian Anita Moen 3rd and Swede Hilde Pedersen 4th.
Evi Sachenbacher, the 2002 Olympic sprint silver medallist, was surprisingly eliminated in the quarter finals. The Canadian National Team did not attend the first World Cup race, choosing instead to prepare for the World Cup season in Fairbanks, Alaska. Bente Skari, Katerina Neumannova, and Kristina Smigun also did not ski. Former World Champion Pirjo Manninen, in her first international race since an injury plagued 2001/2002 season did not qualify for the quarter finals
The men’s sprint in Dusseldorf was dominated by Sweden, as Peter Larsson won ahead of Tobias Fredriksson and Norway’s Tor Arne Hetland.
Mikhael Oestberg, another Swede, fell in the final and finished 4th. Peter Larsson did not enjoy the greatest of seasons last year, when he was disqualified from the Olympic sprint and was unable to ski in Stockholm due to high blood values.
The Swedes were strong all day easily skied faster than the rest of the field. Trond Iversen, 2002 sprint world cup winner, was ousted by Palolahti and Per Larsson in the quarters. Thomas Alsgaard was 23nd in the qualification. Paricularly suprising was the elimination of Christian Zorzi in the quarter finals after qualifying 4th. Elofsson, Aukland, Estil, Ivanov, Hjelmeset, Piller Cottrer, Hoffmann did not ski.
The World Cup sprint relay scheduled for Sunday was cancelled due to poor conditions.
|Women's Top 10
1 2 Final A BJOERGEN Marit NOR
2 13 Final A PARUZZI Gabriella ITA
3 3 Final A MOEN Anita NOR
4 4 Final A PEDERSEN Hilde G. NOR
5 7 Final B SKOFTERUD Vibeke W. NOR
6 9 Final B DAHLBERG Anna SWE
7 6 Final B SORKMO Maj Helen NOR
8 1 Final B KUENZEL Claudia GER
9 5 Quarterfinal SACHENBACHER Evi GER
10 8 Quarterfinal KOROSTELEVA Natalia RUS
|Men's Top 10
1 3 Final A LARSSON Peter SWE
2 1 Final A FREDRIKSSON Thobias SWE
3 2 Final A HETLAND Tor Arne NOR
4 5 Final A OESTBERG Mikael SWE
5 8 Final B BJERKELI Haavard NOR
6 11 Final B PALOLAHTI Ari FIN
7 10 Final B SOMMERFELDT Rene GER
8 13 Final B ELDEN Trond Einar NOR
9 6 Quarterfinal IVERSEN Trond NOR
10 7 Quarterfinal ANGERER Tobias GER
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