Only 28.4 kilometers instead of 50: DSV runners have no chance in the cross-country ice box

Only 28.4 kilometers instead of 50
DSV runners without a chance in the cross-country ice box

Only shortly before the start is the men’s cross-country skiing reduced from 50 to less than 30 kilometers, which doesn’t please all athletes. In the last men’s Olympic decision, Alexander Bolschunov wins his third gold of these games, the German team is clearly lagging behind.

Jonas Dobler bravely sprinted around the frozen pineapple, after that his teammates also tumbled to the finish line exhausted, shock-frozen and very late: In what is probably the most icy race in Olympic history, the German cross-country skiers missed a surprise and are clearly close to the dreamed-of race in the shortened marathon in Beijing Missed top ten placement. “It was solid. But at the peak of the season you want to be better than solid,” said Dobler, who took 20th place in Alexander Bolschunov’s Olympic victory in the supreme discipline, which was compressed from 50 to 28.4 kilometers due to the cold and the icy winds: “If at Once there is a gap in the wind, you don’t do anything anymore. You don’t stand a chance on your own.”

Like his teammates Florian Notz (29th), Friedrich Moch (31st) and Lucas Bögl (33rd), who was thrown back by a broken stick, Dobler fell back early. In the final sprint, which is actually insignificant for the overall picture, the 30-year-old still fought his way into the top 20 – 3:17 minutes behind was impressive. “I’ve rarely seen a 30er where the field has burst apart so much. You have to pay twice or three times for every lost place,” said national coach Peter Schlickenrieder. Although his men fell behind the outstanding women in the two Olympic weeks, they were by no means disappointing.

ROC athlete Bolschunow won his third Beijing gold after 1:11:32 hours ahead of teammate Ivan Jakimuschkin and Norwegian Simen Hegstad Krüger. Krüger had tested positive for Corona shortly before leaving for China and traveled there, for the 2018 Olympic skiathlon champion it was the first start.

Only one hour before the planned start was it announced that the distance would be reduced by more than 20 kilometers – for the first time at the Winter Games, no fifties were held, the king’s distance has been part of the canon since the premiere in 1924. The move was justified with safety concerns, as otherwise the athletes would have been exposed to extreme conditions for too long. Not everyone liked this: “A damn joke. That doesn’t make it any less cold and windy,” said Brit Andrew Musgrave, who finished twelfth. Schlickenrieder, meanwhile, defended the decision: “That was absolutely right,” said the 52-year-old: “A 50-year-old would probably not have had health consequences today, but that drains the athletes very much – and they should still run World Cups afterwards.”

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