Sweden’s youngsters throw down a cross-country challenge

LILLEHAMMER, Feb 17 — When Sweden’s Johanna Hagstroem crossed the finish line at the ladies’ sprint classic on Tuesday it was in a style that her country’s senior racers would envy.

Johanna Hagstroem celebrating (SWE) in the Ladies’ Sprint Cross-Country Skiing event at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. (Changjie Chen/ IOC Young Reporters)

Sweden’s cross-country skiers are on a winning streak. Hagstroem smashed through to the sprint final and so did the 17-year-old’s teammate Moa Lundgren.

In the final Hagstroem won by a massive 2.40 seconds from Russia’s Yuliya Petrova and 3.27 in front of Martine Engebretsen, from Norway, who took bronze.

In the cross-free event on Saturday (13 February) Lundgren had won gold followed by Hagstroem, but the latter stepped up her game in the sprint and climbed all the way to the top of the podium. It was a personal victory, but also a victory for Swedish cross-country in general.

Johanna Hagstroem (SWE)celebrating in the Ladies’ Sprint Classic Cross-Country Skiing event at the Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. (Changjie Chen/ IOC Young Reporter)

“Now that the seniors haven’t done too well in the World Cup it is even more cool that we have performed so well. This is our little revenge [on our rivals],” Hagstroem said, with reference to the seniors’ cross-country World Cup which Norway has dominated in recent seasons.

“We all go together very well, the coaches, the waxing guys and us athletes,” Hagstroem said.

Teammate Moa Lundgren finished in fourth and was disappointed with her own display, but was pleased for her friend. “It is so nice to be part of this team,” she said.

By Vegard Anders Skorpen, IOC Young Reporter (IOC Young Reporters)

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated IOC Young Reporters’s story.