January 18, 2023 | at the FISU Winter University Games
Cross-country skiing continued on Tuesday at Lake Placid at the 2023 FISU World University Games with the women’s 5k and men’s 10k individual classic races.
These competitions present a difficult challenge as the races are long enough to require strength and stamina, while also requiring competitors to ski fast.
Viewers had to wait a long time to cheer for the eventual winner of the women’s competition as Hilla Niemela from Finland was 65 years oldp out of 69 on the starting list. As she crossed the finish line, the Finnish flags began to fly and her time of 13:20.8 stayed until the end.
Sprint gold medalist Mariel Merlii Pulles of Estonia (13:38.2) and Maria Eugenia Boccardi of Italy (13:43.0) followed the finish line.
Niemela rode under control with extraordinary technique, especially on the hills. Although she had an accident, she was able to pick herself up quickly and still win.
“I think the most important thing is to keep your head straight and if you enjoy every moment here, it makes the race easy and fun,” she said proudly.
A similar scenario developed in the men’s race against Japanese Ryo Hirose in the 1980sp of the 84 skiers who took to the piste, winning in 24:37.0 thanks in part to a strong finish.
Norway’s Magnus Boee (24:52.8) and Andreas Kirkeng (24:54.6) completed the podium.
“I’m very happy and tired at the same time, the race was really tough. But the conditions for the competition were good,” said Hirose, who attributed his success to a very good and complete preparation before the Games.
Being part of the FISU Games and representing your country is an honor that all athletes show with their efforts at every competition.
“It’s really special to me. I never thought I’d be wearing the USA kit when I was growing up, and it’s even more special to be here with my teammates who grew up skiing with me and developed as athletes together,” said Anabel Needham, who finished the race. women at 17p position.
“It’s an honor to be here in such a nice place. I am blessed to represent my country and my university as well as the students,” added Bentley Walker-Broose from Australia, who finished 61st.st place on the male side.
The next medal competitions in cross-country skiing will take place on Wednesday, and the individual 5 km women’s and 10 km men’s run will be free.
Written by Julieta Boschiazzo, FISU Young Reporter
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