Czech skier Kateřina Razýmová.
Planica (Slovenia) – Cross-country skier Kateřina Razýmová finished thirteenth in the skiathlon at the world championships in Planica, recording the best result at the top event of her career. The second Czech representative, Kateřina Janatová, took 33rd place. The winner was Sweden's Ebba Andersson, who beat compatriot Frida Karlsson by 22 seconds. Bronze was won by Norwegian Astrid Oyre Slindová.
Photo gallery: 2023 WC Classic Skiing in Planica
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Thirty-one-year-old Razýmová, who returned to racing after a maternity break last December, improved her skiathlon maximum from last year's World Championships in Oberstdorf by one rung. She was 1:46.3 minutes behind the winner Andersson.
“It was difficult, but I'm happy for thirteenth place. It's my best result at the World Championships, so it's a good start,” Ryzýmová said in the recording for the media. “I would rate it in two parts. The classic wasn't much, but the skate was great. Given that the top 10 can be driven like this, it's great,” added Razýmová.
Twenty-five-year-old Andersson is celebrating her first individual gold at the World Championships, two years ago she was third in the skiathlon and in the top ten freestyle. She replaced the Norwegian Therese Johaug, who ended her career, on the throne. Karlsson defended her two-year-old silver medal.
Razýmová, who missed the Olympic season and gave birth to her daughter Isabella in June, already showed her form in the January World Cup race in Val di Fiemme, where she was thirteenth. Today, the native of Domažlice was hampered by the falls of her competitors and she was twenty-second after the classical part, but in the second half she moved up nine places. She clenched her fist in satisfaction at the finish line. She lost less than a minute on the podium.
“For a while it looked like a fight in the classics, because at least a third of the starting field fell at the start. I and Kačka Janatová didn't avoid it either. It wasn't our fault, but there was nowhere left to pass. In the classics, we either lost or were moving in the starting crowd,” described Razýmová.
But the skating part of the Czech representative came out. “I didn't expect to feel so good. It was probably my best skate and I'm glad that it came out here. I worked my way from twenty-fifth place to thirteenth and was only seven seconds short of the top 10. That's good,” she added Razýmová.
Andersson stayed in the lead from the start and set the pace with Karlsson or Finland's Kerta Niskanen. The native of Delsbo went to the decisive blockbuster after changing skis and built up a lead of several seconds in the climb. The Norwegian Anne Kjersti Kalvaa, for example, had problems as she was slowed down by a pit stop and lost her front.
Even a fall in the third round did not deprive Andersson of victory. Despite losing a few seconds, she soon gained a lead over Karlsson. Slindová defended the third place. The 35-year-old Norwegian kept Germany's Katherine Hennig behind her by five seconds and won her first valuable metal in her debut at the top event.
Classic Skiing World Championships in Planica (Slovenia):
Women – skiathlon 2×7.5 km: 1. Anderssonová 38:11.8, 2. Karlssonová (both Swedes) -22.0, 3. Slindová (Nor.) -48.0, 4. Hennigová (German) – 53.3, 5. Niskanenová -56.3, 6. Pärmäkoskiová (both Finnish) -1:22.1, …13. Razýmová -1:46.3, 33. Janatová (both Czech Republic) -4:33.7.
Men – middle bridge/10 km: 1. Riiber (Nor.) 24:36.3, 2. Schmid (German) -19.4, 3. Rehrl (Aust.) -21.0, 4. Geiger -41.4, 5. Faisst (both German) -42.1, 6. Ilves (Est.) -45.1, …21. Pažout -2:07.4, 25. Persevered -2:29.3, 34. Konvalinka 3:59.8, Portyk (all Czech) disqualified.
Men – intermediate bridge: 1. Žyla (Poland) 261.8 b. (97.5+105 m), 2. Wellinger 259.2 (101+102), 3. Geiger (both German) 257.7 ( 100+101.5), 4. Kraft (Austria) 257.3 (102.5+99), 5. Kubacki 256.9 (97+102), 6. Stoch (both Poland) 256.3 (99 +102), …46. Koudelka 104.5 (90), 48. Rýdl (both (Czech Republic) 102.9 (91).
Women – teams: 1. Germany 843.8 b. (Ruprechtová, Görlichová, Freitagová, Althausová ), 2. Austria 831.1 (Kreuzerová, Mühlbacherová, Seifriedsbergerová, Pinkelnigová), 3. Norway 828.6 (Lundbyová, Kvandalová, Björsethová, Strömová), 4. Slovenia 819.1, 5. Japan 804.2, 6. Canada 705.2.