Norwegian Weng and Austrian Lamparter win their first world title

Natalie Portman
By Natalie Portman 5 Min Read
Norway’s Udnes Weng competes in the women’s cross-country classic style sprint final at the FIS Nordic World Cup in Lahti. Antti Hämäläinen/Lehtkuva/dpa

Norway’s Tiril Udnes Weng captured the women’s cross-country World Cup title on Saturday after finishing third in a sprint race in Lahti, Finland, while Austria’s Johannes Lamparter claimed overall glory in the men’s Nordic combined.

It’s the first all-time triumph for 26-year-old Weng and continues Norway’s huge dominance of the sport, with Johannes Hösflot Kläbo taking his fourth men’s title in the week.

On Saturday, he won the men’s sprint, his fifth consecutive all-discipline win and 19th success this season. Kläbo equaled Marit Bjørgen’s record for the most sprint wins ever and of course she is also this season’s world sprint champion.

The women’s sprint was won by another Norwegian, Kristine Stavaa Skistad, in her third consecutive sprint victory and fifth this season. It was also her fifth consecutive sprint win in races she entered.

But those victories weren’t enough to prevent the Swedish Maja Dahlqvist from concluding the world championship of the discipline.

Skistad won the final in 3 minutes 08.63 seconds, 0.13 ahead of Sweden’s Jonna Sundling after catching her just before the finish line.

Weng was nearly 7 seconds behind, but did enough for overall glory.

She triumphed in the general classification ahead of the American Jessie Diggins, who went out in the sprint quarterfinals. Weng is the twin of fellow long-distance runner Lotta Udnes Weng and third cousin of former two-time overall champion Heidi Weng.

“It’s unreal,” she told VG. “Being the overall winner of the World Cup, I would never have believed it.”

Dahlqvist finished fourth and overtook a weeping Nadine Fähndrich of Switzerland in the sprint season standings.

Twenty kilometer mass starts for both the men and women complete the season on Sunday, with Norway’s Paal Golberg and Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen favorites for the World Cup title over the distance.

The men’s Nordic combined were also at the Finnish resort for their final weekend of the season, and Lamparter stumbled to overall success ahead of another big 10km uphill race on Sunday.

Challenging winds meant that Lamparter was only 24th in ski jumping, with four-time overall champion Jarl Magnus Riiber also having bad luck with the conditions.

Riiber finished third in the jump behind Estonia’s Kristjan Ilves and Japan’s Ryota Yamamoto, but passed them in the cross-country section to seal the day’s victory in the hard melting snow fouled by falling pine cones.

The Norwegian has been dominant of late but was out of contention for the overall World Cup after missing too many races with illness earlier in the season.

Austrian Lamparter, 21, finished 11th after skiing, just enough to clinch the World Cup title for the first time after being second behind Riiber last season.

The 2021 world champion wasn’t even born the last time an Austrian took the Nordic Combined World Cup to Felix Gottwald’s win in 2001.

“It’s madness, a childhood dream has come true,” he told ZDF. “I hope my success motivates young Austrian athletes.”

The women’s Nordic combined season is already over, with Norway’s Gyda Westvold Hansen winning all 10 races this season.

Norway’s Kristine Stavaas Skistad (L) wins the race ahead of second-placed Jonna Sundling of Sweden during the women’s cross-country skiing classic style sprint final at the FIS Nordic World Cup in Lahti. Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva/dpa
Female athletes compete in the women’s cross-country classic-style sprint final at the FIS Nordic World Cup in Lahti. Antti Hämäläinen/Lehtkuva/dpa
(LR) Sweden’s Jonna Sundling, second, Norwegian winner Kristine Stavaas Skistad and Norway’s Tiril Udnes Weng, third, after the women’s cross-country classic style sprint final at the FIS Nordic World Cup in Lahti. Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva/dpa

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