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Bjørgen Sweeps Norwegian Nationals; Nishikawa 5th in 10 k

Emily Nishikawa of the Canadian World Cup Team finished fifth behind Norway’s Marit Bjørgen on Friday in the women’s 10-kilometer freestyle at Norwegian National Championships in Vang, Norway.

Bjørgen, who, like Nishikawa, skipped the Tour de Ski as well as this weekend’s World Cup sprints in Dresden, Germany, won the individual-start race in 25:59.1, just 0.2 seconds ahead of her teammate Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen in second. Norway’s Ragnhild Haga reached the podium in third (+21.3), and Kari Øyre Slind placed fourth (+1:17.1), ahead of Nishikawa as the top non-Norwegian in fifth (+2:09.1). Of the 91 women who raced on Friday, all but six were Norwegian. Nishikawa was the only Canadian.

Annika Taylor, who was born in California and races for Great Britain, placed 65th (+6:11.8). Nichole Bathe (also racing for Great Britain) did not start.

Also on Friday, Graeme Killick (Canadian World Cup Team) finished 15th in the men’s 15 k freestyle at Norwegian nationals, 1:40 behind Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krüger in first. Krüger won it in 35:32.3, 33 seconds ahead of another Norwegian Per Kristian Nygaard in second and 37.2 seconds over Norway’s Daniel Stock in third.

Two other Canadians living abroad in Norway and training with Team Asker, Ryan Jackson and Maks Zechel finished 120th and 131st, respectively, out of 166 in the men’s 15 k.

In Saturday’s skiathlons, Bjørgen picked up her third-straight win of the week (after winning Thursday’s classic sprint as well) in the women’s 15 k skiathlon in 39:49.6, once again 0.2 seconds ahead of Jacobsen. The podium was exactly the same as Friday’s 10 k with Haga placing third, just 0.3 seconds back. Nishikawa finished 19th (+2:54.2) as the top non-Norwegian.

Martin Johnsrud Sundby won the men’s 30 k skiathlon in 1:16:13.3, outlasting his Norwegian World Cup teammates Niklas Dyrhaug and Finn Hågen Krogh, who placed second (+1.4), and third (+1.9), respectively. Two Norwegians not on the national team, Espen Udjus Frorud and Mattis Stenshagen missed the podium by just one-tenth of a second in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Killick placed 25th (+2:36.1), and Jackson was 72nd (+6:55.2).

Earlier in the week, Bjørgen won the women’s 1.3 k classic sprint final over Kathrine Rolsted Harsem in second and Silje Øyre Slind in third. Nishikawa qualified for the heats in 15th and finished the day in 25th.

Norway’s Johannes Høsflot Klæbo won the men’s 1.5 k classic sprint on Thursday, ahead of Eirik Brandsdal in second and Fredrik Riseth in third.

Jackson placed 86th in the qualifier and Zechel was 90th.

Results:

Thursday, Jan. 11 classic sprint: women’s qualifierwomen’s final men’s qualifiermen’s final

Friday, Jan. 12: women’s 10 k freestyle | men’s 15 k freestyle

Saturday, Jan. 13: women’s 15 k skiathlon | men’s 30 k skiathlon

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