Northug star at world cross-country ski event
The third gold medal for Petter Northug (23) at 2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec came in the final event on March 1; the 50 km mass start race in the free technique. He finished the challenging course in the final sprint just 0,7 seconds ahead of Maxim Vyhlegzhanin from Russia. The bronze medal went to Tobias Angerer, Germany, who finished 2,0 seconds behind Northug.
“It was a very hard race for me. I tried to be in the top group, and it was difficult to escape, so I just ran with them. It was very difficult because Tobias pushed very hard, ” said Northug.
The premiere with the nations boxes and the possibility to change the skies was exciting and very tight – the first 19 athletes finished within 19 seconds.
A remarkable attack came after km 34 km by Vincent Vittoz from France in which Petter Northug joined him. At the end of the last lap- Angerer launched the final attack but Northug and Vyhlegzhanin were faster at the end.
Northug is with his third gold medal the most successful male athlete at the 2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championship in Liberec. Only Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN) collected more medals- 3 golden and 1 bronze. The leader of the medal schedule after 20 Nordic competitions is Norway with 12 medals (5-4-3).
“I am already looking forward to Vancouver. Oslo will be great as well and I am looking forward it, too,” said a smiling Northug. The next FIS Nordic World Ski Championships will be held in Oslo, Norway from Feb. 23 to March 6, 2011.