The ladies cross country skiing field looks to be pretty tight at the top and all three of the best are likely to be under pressure to do well in Falun albeit for slightly different reasons
With the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships getting ever closer all eyes have been on the likely contenders in the Women’s cross country classic style sprint. There are numerous ladies in with a shout on the day but with recent results going the way they have you can see why bookies like ComeOn! Sportsbook are offering realistic odds on but three of them. It’ll be a tight race that pits a Swede against two Norwegians.
Falun Women’s Cross Country Sprint
• Bjoergen favored to continue her winning ways
• Ingvild & Stina right on her tail
• All three under different pressures to win
The competition will see individuals have to battle through the heats into quarterfinals brimming with talent to get into those all important semis before the real competition can start between the very top flight competitors in this sport. Falun 2015 is likely to be one of the most well attended events of recent years and the big crowds are loading a little more than usual on their main hope in the Women’s sprint; Stina Nilsson.
Home advantage in sport is always a bit of a double edged sword. Certainly very vocal support from hugely partisan fans can lift an effort and raise spirits at a crucial moment or two, but this comes at the price of home-fan expectations that often stray well beyond the realistic. The additional pressure of not just facing possible defeat in the face but facing it before a crowd of your peers and countrymen (or women) can sometimes offset their support.
The 21 year old from Torsby Oestersund will have to keep her head if she wants to power ahead of her two Norwegian rivals, but she is hitting her stride at just the right time. Her recent results building up in a hugely encouraging manner. A second place in Davos back in December just kicked off her rise with a fourth place in Val Mustair followed up by a second and third placing in Falun, managing second in Estonia’s Otepaa just ten days ago, plus a first place with the Swedish team.
Swedish Hope For Sprint Win
Stina’s great problem being that one of the two ahead of her in the odds won three Olympic gold medals in Sochi……and the other pipped her home in Otepaa in the individual competition and only narrowly lost out in the team event coming a close second. Marit Bjoergen and Ingvild Flugstad Østberg are both from Norway and ten years experience separates them, but their performances are far closer matched.
Marit Bjoergen has been a dominant force in Women’s cross country skiing since the turn of the century and her enviable haul of Olympic medals includes a bronze and silver from Vancouver, where she won three golds, two more silvers from earlier years (Salt Lake City & Turin) and then those three golds in Sochi just last year confirming she was still to be reckoned with even as she creeps into her mid-thirties.
Marit’s appearance in the final in Falun come February’s FIS Nordic Ski World Championship is almost a foregone conclusion barring huge controversy or incident, and it won’t just be the young Swede Nilsson that she’ll have to keep an eye on as her fellow countrywoman Ivngvild Flugstad Østberg has been showing superb form in recent events beating out Stina Nilsson to win in the Otepaa World Cup event.
Swedish gambling laws being what they are, which is hardly what they should be if we’re honest about it, you’ll have to get online to choose one of these three to back, with the clear favorite being the veteran Bjoergen on just 1.90 with Ingvild Flugstad Østberg and Stina Nilsson both sitting just on her shoulder at 3.80. The question becomes then is this the event at which we see the queen of cross country skiing get defeated by one of the princesses?
Bjoergen Favorite To Win
Certainly at 1.90 you get the feeling the ComeOn! Sportsbook isn’t entirely sure themselves, those golds she won in Sochi weren’t in the sprint but in the far longer distance events where longevity of effort is perhaps more telling that over-all power, and that they seem unable to prise apart the two younger ladies seems to suggest this is very much Marit’s win to give away, but which of the chasing pair will capitalize on any slip she makes?
The answer is, of course, both of them. On the day any of a myriad of small factors could make the difference between winning and coming a regrettable but never the less expected second place. Both Ingvild and Stina are thus competing under a shadow from which each would like to emerge victorious. Stina has the home crowd willing her on, placing pressure upon her, whilst Ingvild skies in the shadow of fellow Norwegian Bjoergen.
Which is the greater pressure or biggest driving force is something only the two ladies themselves could decide, those of you who like to bet on sport in Sweden might be tempted to risk a small wager on that debate, but I think it probably wiser to placing money on their sporting results rather than their sporting traumas. ComeOn! Sportsbook gives you ample facility to do so, but that doesn’t detract from the big question, which of these ladies is going to win.
The Falun Nordic Ski World Championships are still a couple of weeks away but some of the competitors will get a bit of a warm up in Oestersund a few days beforehand, it remains to be seen if it is better to wager now or await results gambling news from that event changes the odds on what will come in Falun. One thing is for sure, when these three square off it will be more than a mere race for a win in each of their cases whatever their reasons.