The Russian Olympians ski competition in Kirovo-Chepetsk was not originally on the calendar. But how great that they took place. Only at our starts you can see how the Olympic champion rides several kilometers on one ski because of a broken boot, how an athlete who missed one race goes to the start of multi-stage competitions, and two people start in the sprint in the quarterfinals.
This is by no means a claim, because such moments made the competition memorable. It’s fun in Russian skiing and without the World Cup.
Nepryaeva’s advantage and Istomina’s “bite”
Olympic champion, World Cup winner Natalia Nepryaeva in the women’s part of the competition was the undisputed favorite. She confirmed her class by winning the sprint and the classic pursuit race (although in pure time she lost to Ekaterina Smirnova).
“It is not the current situation at the World Cup, but it is normal. I feel very tired, but there is only one Russian championship left, we will somehow make it, ”Nepryaeva said after the competition.
By the way, Natalia suffered an unexpected defeat from Maria Istomina in the 10 km skating rink.
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Elena Vyalbe praised Nepryaeva’s second place in the Kirovo-Chepetsk competition
“When leaders are bitten by someone, it’s always good. I hope that Natasha Nepryaeva simply saved energy. Ahead is the Russian championship, where she has to run all the races. These competitions were not originally planned, but they were needed so that the athletes, so to speak, “twitched” and did not lose shape. It’s good that we were able to organize them, “said the president of the FLGR and the head coach of the Russian national team Elena Vyalbe on the air of the competition.
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According to the results of the mini-tour, Istomina became the second, Smirnova – the third.
Broken boot and one Spitzov ski
The highlight of the men’s races was a show performed by Denis Spitsov.
In the course of the classic pursuit race, his boot broke. More precisely, the fastening of the boot. You just can’t change your shoes on the track. And Spitsov had to run at least a couple of kilometers on one ski and hold the second in his hands.
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Spitsov’s boot broke during the pursuit in Kirovo-Chepetsk. Denis continued the race
Prior to this force majeure, Denis was in the group of leaders, but, of course, immediately rolled away and could no longer apply for prizes. However, this is not the main thing. Even in this situation, Spitsov ran to the stadium, completing a circle of 5 km, and then changed his shoes and continued the race. Yes, he became the eighth, but what a character Denis showed!
For Bolshunov’s sake, the rules were broken, and rightly so
Three-time Olympic champion Alexander Bolshunov was the main star of the competition, of course.
He could easily train and prepare for the Russian championship at home, but Alexander came to Kirovo-Chepetsk. He complained, however, that moving takes a lot of energy. In the sprint he just didn’t have enough strength at the finish – Bolshunov lost to Gleb Retivykh and Alexander Terentyev.
In general, the quarterfinals in the sprint turned into clowning. Initially, there were few athletes in the starting protocols, and the most logical decision would be not to hold the quarterfinals, but to select 12 athletes in qualifying and hold the semifinals, but… In the end, the elimination race consisted of even two participants finish.
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A sharp struggle between Terentyev, Retivy and Bolshunov at the finish of the sprint. Video
But from the semifinals there was a hot fight.
Bolshunov, taking third place in the sprint, then missed the skating cut. There were good reasons.
He returned to the classic pursuit race, showing great respect for the fans. According to the rules, in multi-stage competitions, an athlete who received not “disqualification” but “did not start” in the protocol is not allowed to the next race. And in the World Cup, Alexander would not be allowed to the last race.
But, given the status of the competition, the status of Bolshunov himself, the reasons why he was absent, and also showing respect to the fans, the jury replaced the withdrawal from the competition with a penalty of 3 minutes. And this is true.
Fans who filled the stands were again given the opportunity to chat with the ski king. By the way, in pure time Bolshunov Pasyut won, but in the mini-round he was only sixth.
A daring junior who is not afraid of anyone
Ilya Poroshkin became the winner of the men’s part of the competition, Ilya Semikov took the third place. But the second was a daring junior Savely Korostelev, one of the heroes of the World Youth Championship, which took place in Norway in late February.
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The 18-year-old skier is already not afraid to challenge adult rivals. He looked great in the sprint, becoming fifth, until the last meters of the distance he fought with Poroshkin in the skating section, losing three seconds, and fought with a more experienced opponent in the pursuit, lagging behind only in the last lap.
But Savely managed to keep the second place, which is very cool in such a competition. He is ready to make noise at the Russian championship.