Today, on August 24, FIS Roller Ski World Cup’s sprint races took place in Khanty-Mansiysk. The third day of international competition greeted the participants of the most spectacular race with a little rain and a sufficiently strong wind. Athletes had to get through qualification, quarter-finals, semifinals and finals on the way to the podium.
In the qualification race athletes went to the distance one by one. The best time among the junior ladies was shown by Alba Mortagna from Italy, who covered the distance in 28.8 seconds. Russian athletes Angelina Agafonova and Mariya Popova finished less than a second behind the leader.
The best time among women was demonstrated by another Italian skier, Lisa Bolzan, who faster than Alena Prochazkova by 0.20 seconds and Jackline Lockner by 0.45 seconds.
Men’s qualification results were more tight. Nikita Berdyshev won, and six more people finished within a second from the Russian athlete. Among men results of both Dmitriy Voronin and Vitaliy Smirnov was 23.24 seconds. Norwegian athlete Ragnar Bragvin Andresen finished only 0.2 seconds behind.
After the qualification athletes competed not with the stopwatch, but with each other. In the quarter-finals and semifinals, the time no longer mattered, to get to the next stage it was necessary to cross the finish line first or second.
Alba Mortagna, Maria Popova, Angelina Agafonova and Ekaterina Gryaznova managed to get into the junior women’s final. Agafonova won, while Popova and Mortagna placed second and third respectively.
“It’s easier for me to run in such rainy weather, because my arms are stronger than my legs. I was scary getting a second yellow card, but everything went well despite that”, – Angelina Agafonova shared her thoughts after the victory.
1. Angelina Agafonova (RUS) 29.04
2. Mariya Popova (RUS) +0.100
3. Alba Mortagna (ITA) +0.307
Representatives of Slovakia, Sweden, Russia and Italy came together in the fight for the women’s sprint medals. The famous Slovakian roller skier Alena Prochazkova won the second gold of the World Cup stage in Khanty-Mansiysk, the second result was shown by Lisa Bolzan, and Jacqueline Lokner got the bronze medal.
Evgenia Shapovalova from Ugra was only fourth, but the skier’s mood was more than good after the race: “Of course, you need to get used to running on such roller skis, after all, this is not cross-country or even slow roller skis. But today I really liked it, I ran 200 meters for the second time in my life. I’m not even tired. Everything was very emotional. Special thanks to the fans, they came here, despite the weather, they are cheering, they support me. And the weather – it is the weather. It rains in summer, it snows in winter. You need to get used to anything”.
1. Alena Prochazkova (SVK) 27.88
2. Lisa Bolzan (ITA) +0.554
3. Jackline Lockner (SWE) +0.654
Among junior men Johan Ekberg placed first, completing the gold double as well, Iliya Proskurin was the second one to cross the finish line, and Nikita Berdyshev ended up being the bronze medalist.
1. Johan Ekberg (SWE) 24.24
2. Iliya Proskurin (RUS) +0.407
3. Nikita Berdyshev (RUS) +1.181
The fastest roller skier of the World Cup stage was Ivan Zhilinskiy, who was ready to literally tear the asphalt to shreds on the way to the gold medal. Ivan’s gesture at the finish line could be on an advertising poster of some new film about the Incredible Hulk. Dmitriy Voronin finished second in half a second, overtaking Andresen by several centiseconds.
“Khanty-Mansiysk has very specific asphalt, and the conditions become very disastrous for sprint when it rains, – said Ivan Zhilinskiy. – I had to adapt to the race and weather conditions. I want to say thanks to everyone who supported me, the organizers of the competition, all of Khanty-Mansiysk. The uphill is tough! Who thinks it’s easy, come here and let’s run! I was able to decide what roller skis to use only by the last race. It was a very interesting and exciting race!”
1. Ivan Zhilinskiy (RUS) 23.56
2. Dmitriy Voronin (RUS) +0.500
3. Ragnar Bragvin Andresen (NOR) +0.600
Tomorrow, on August 25, the final race of the FIS Roller Ski World Cup stage in Khanty-Mansiysk will be held. The mass start will start at 11:00, the track runs along the central streets of the city, so everyone can enjoy the event.