The Headmaster won the last race
01. 03 2009 18:00:00
(Liberec, own) The winner of the last event of the 47th FIS Nordic World Ski Championships LIBEREC 2009 is known already. Rightly it is the phenomenal Petter Northug of Norway. He will leave Liberec with three medals. Silver for Russian skier Maxim Vylegzhanin was a great surprise today, Tobias Angerer of Germany took bronze. Czech skiers performed very well today: Martin Koukal finished in the 7th place and Jiri Magal in the 17th place. Also the Cross-Country Ski Area Vesec said goodbye to the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships Liberec 2009.
The 50 km Men´s race was all under the influence of the phenomenal Norwegian skier Petter Northug. He twice tried unsuccessfully to attack the front of the pack; it wouldn´t break up for a long time. He succeeded for the third time when he got ahead of all other favourites – Zorzi of Italy, Angerer of Germany as well as his team colleague Gjerdalen.
Today´s race during which the competitors had to defeat an overall vertical distance of 1,759 metres was literally exhausting. Maybe this was the reason for Northug to fall to the ground after crossing the finish line while leaving the present photographers wonder if he had collapsed. After several minutes he stood up with a happy smile on his face and began to accept congratulations. “Liberec is my favourite city,” he said alluding to his third gold. “In the last lap I tried to speed up before the last uphill but my rivals kept with me. It was very important for me to go the last downhill in the first position. They kept attacking me in the finish; besides, I was very exhausted, but I trusted myself,” this is how the happy Norwegian described the last minute of the race.
Silver for the Russian skier Maxim Vylegzhanin is a surprise. Angerer took the first bronze medal for Germany in Liberec and he added it to eight golden medals his countrymen had already gained.
Martin Koukal gained a very good result too. He missed the 6th place by 0.6 second only which was taken by Rene Sommerfeldt. Even in this way he proved that the Czech Republic had its expert in long courses. “I wanted to finish to the tenth place but even better to the sixth place and be on the podium. I wanted to reward the excellent spectators. Unfortunately, it didn´t come off”, Koukal was sorry about his place after being overtaken by Sommerfeldt of Germany in the finish area.
“It was a dignified farewell to the Championships,” Czech national coach Miroslav Petrasek was pleased. “There is only one person here to make any plans; that is Petter Northug. He is the Headmaster who has his own way. Nobody wants to give it up but everybody follows his tune,” Koukal said to journalists in the finish.
Milan Sperl and sprinter Dusan Kozisek were not able to keep up with the main group and finished in places within the fourth ten. Lukas Bauer, the only Czech medallist from Liberec didn´t start in this closing race; he decided to leave the Championships after the unsuccessful relay competition.
MEN - 50 KM FREE TECHNIQUE RACE WITH MASS START
1. Northug (Nor.) 1:59:38.1, 2. Vylegzhanin (Rus.) -0.7, 3. Angerer (Ger.) -2.0, 4. Di Centa (It.) -4.0, 5. Dolidovich (Belarus) -5.6, 6. Sommerfeldt (Ger.) -7.5, 7. Koukal (CZE) -8.1, 8. Kattilakoski (Fin.) -8.4, 9. Vittoz (Fr.) -9.1, 10. Rehemaa (Est.) -9.2, ...17. Magal -17.5, 33. Sperl -3:52.7, 35. Kozisek (all CZE) -4:30.4.
(so; transl. mc)