Twenty-nine year old American cross-country skier Kikkan Randall officially wrapped up her historic FIS Sprint World Cup season on Wednesday with an eighth place finish in the classic sprint finale in Stockholm, Sweden. Randall had previously clinched the Sprint title, making her the first American since Bill Koch in 1982, to win the event.
In Stockholm, Randall won her quarterfinal heat but was fourth in the semifinals, just missing a lucky loser pass to the finals. “The semi final didn’t go quite as well as I would have liked,” Randall commented. “Eighth is my best finish here in Stockholm, so it’s still a success.”
Randall’s dominating performance brings her one step closer to competing at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. There, she hopes to be the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic Medal in cross-country skiing.
Other highlights from Stockholm include a strong seventh place finish by American Andy Newell. Norway’s Marit Bjoergen won the opener of a mini-tour to boost her lead over Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk while Norway’s Erik Brandsdal won for the men.
“I tried to relax across the back stretch and save my energy for the last hill and that worked great. I did exactly what I wanted to do, but I think if I had like two more meters I would have caught [Nikolay] Morilov. I was gaining on him,” Newell stated about his performance.
World Cup action continues on Friday in Falun, Sweden. For official results and more information, visit www.fis-ski.com.