The Swedish national ski team has made a big impression on the women’s side this year.
But the question is whether Norway has not impressed even more given the conditions ahead.
– It is very surprising, Swedish skiing expert Teodor Peterson admits to Dagbladet.
Before the ski season, not many people talked about the Norwegian ladies, but much more praised the Swedish ski stars on the women’s side. Many expected the void left by the ski queen Therese Johaug would become extremely noticeable.
But it really didn’t turn out like that now when we sum up the international competition season. The Norwegian ladies exceeded all expectations and won WC gold at the relay in Planica recently, they also took home the national cup ahead of Sweden and Tiril Udnes Weng won the overall World Cup.
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In addition to that, riders who Kristine Stavå’s Ski City and Anne Kjersti Kalvå impressed greatly during the season with fine efforts at the World Cup. When Sweden proudly beats its chest about having the world’s best national team on the women’s side, it is actually Norway that has impressed the most this season in terms of expectations.
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Paying tribute to Norway
The Swedish expert and former national team skater Theodore Peterson now worries about a possible change of throne in cross-country skiing.
– Norway has the widest squad right now, with many who can do well. Norway won the relay and the national cup, but Sweden won the most gold in the WC. Sweden has the biggest stars and the highest top level. Overall, I think it is completely even between Norway and Sweden on the women’s side now, says Peterson to the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet.
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Peterson, who works for the Swedish TV channel Viaplay, is actually hugely surprised by Norway’s response to speeches after Johaug’s resignation. He really didn’t believe this.
– I didn’t expect much from Norway before the season. Maybe some podiums, from Heidi Weng or… Yes, it was really only her who we thought would settle for the podiums. Without Therese Johaug and Maiken Caspersen Falla, it looked very thin for Norway. But there are so many others who have managed to take the step, says the 34-year-old in the interview.
– Norway’s girls have surprised and impressed the most. They have filled the void left by Johaug masterfully. We had expected Sweden to be good. But the fact that Norway would do so well is surprising.
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Paying tribute to Sweden
Teodor Peterson took four individual World Cup victories during his skiing career and has been with the entire season as a TV expert during the broadcasts of the World Cup and World Ski Championships. In addition to the fact that he is really impressed by the Norwegian ladies, he is looking forward to the coming season and the big sprint showdown between Jonna Sundling and Stavås Ski City.
– It’s a really cool duel. The Swedish stars have finally got a challenger who really gives them a fight in Stavås Skistad. She and Jonna have different strengths and are different types of runners. It’s really cool to see the two fight against each other and it’s very good for the sport, says Peterson to the Norwegian newspaper.
– It is not good if there are triple Swedes in the sprints all the time. More exciting is with Skistad in the mix, together with Nadine Fähndrich.
Also former Norwegian superstar Martin Johnsrud Sundby, today a TV expert at Norwegian Viaplay, is impressed by what Norway’s ski ladies have accomplished during the season. But he still holds Sweden as the world’s best national team on the women’s side.
– Sweden is further ahead in terms of the top level when they have all the runners in their best form, but that has not happened that often this winter, says Sundby and believes that the big stars Ebba Andersson, Frida Karlsson and the aforementioned Sundling has been missing in several World Cup races this season.
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