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JWOC Middle Qualification: Nordic & Swiss dominance

Nordic and Swiss athletes took all but one of the eighteen top-three placings in today’s qualification races, with Sara Hagstrom, Sweden the most impressive with a win by more than 3 minutes.

In tricky Norwegian terrain with diffuse marshes and light-green areas on long slopes, Sweden took three wins, Finland two and Switzerland one. The top twenty finishers from each of the three women’s and three men’s heats go to the Final tomorrow, and home nation Norway will be delighted that all twelve athletes have qualified. Outside of the Scandinavians and Swiss, the Czech Republic had all six women contestants qualify.

Sara Hagstrom, winner of two gold and two silver medals in last year’s JWOC, won her heat by 3.10 after having a disaster in yesterday’s Sprint. New Sprint Champion Simona Aebersold was third in her heat, but bronze medalist Karoliina Ukskoski, Finland failed to qualify.

The men’s B heat was the closest-run race of the day, with Erik Andersson, Sweden winning by 1 second. In Men C it was Alexei Yaganov, Russia in third place who was the only athlete in a top three position who was not Scandinavian or Swiss. In this heat Sprint Champion Tim Robertson, New Zealand finished fourth.

Most unlucky athlete today was Fiona Bunn, Great Britain who failed to qualify by 5 seconds.

Full results can be found on

Heat winners

Women A: Sandrine Mueller SUI by 0:24

Women B: Noora Koskinen FIN by 0:19

Women C: Sara Hagstrom SWE by 3:10

Men A: Simon Imark SWE by 0:40

Men B: Erik Andersson SWE by 0:01

Men C: Olli Ojanaho FIN by 0:27


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