Swede earns second U23 gold, Russia sweeps men’s race
U23 athletes raced at Soldier Hollow on Thursday
Sweden’s Anna Dyvik skied to her second gold of the week, winning the women’s 10k freestyle at the USANA FIS U23 Cross Country World Championships at Soldier Hollow on Thursday. Dyvik took a 16.8-second win over Norway’s silver medalist Tirol Udnes Weng with Lovise Heimdal winning bronze.
It was the second gold for Dyvik, who won the opening classic sprint on Tuesday – her first career U23 medals. In 2014, she was a part of the gold medal relay for Sweden at Junior World Championships and won bronze that same year in the skiathlon.
It was the first U23 medal for Weng, who is a four-time Junior Worlds medalist. Heimdal also has a Junior Worlds relay bronze to her credit.
The race was run under overcast skies with light rain during a portion of the race, but track conditions remained firm.
Kelsey Phinney (Sun Valley, Utah) of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation was the top American in 30th.
For the second-straight day, Russia came away with a podium sweep – this time in the men’s 15k freestyle on Thursday afternoon. Alexander Bolshunov took gold with a 21.8-second margin over teammate Alexey Chervotkin, who took silver. Bronze went to Denis Spitsov.
Running last in the field for the interval start race, Cervotkin provided drama in the final stage of the race, crossing the line to take silver and bumping Andorra’s Irneu Esteve Altimiras into fourth, completing the podium sweep.
The Russian U23 team had been motivated by the similar podium sweep by the Junior Worlds team from Russia a day earlier in the 10k freestyle.
The gold was Bolshunov’s second medal of the U23 Championships, having won silver in the classic sprint two days ago.
The USA was led by Paddy Caldwell (Lyme Center, New Hampshire) of Stratton Mountain School, who was ninth. He had been 21st and 15th in the same event the last two years at U23 World Championships.
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Facing a region opponent early on was not ideal for Park City head coach Micaela Carriel, especially considering her girls had just moved up to 5A Region 8 after spending last season in 4A.