ESOC Long Distance Gold Medals to Norway and Russia

Current Middle Distance World Champion Jørgen Baklid of Norway and Mariya Kechkina of Russia are the new ESOC Long Distance Champions after a grueling race with men’s winning times of over 2 hours, held on a windy and cloudy but dry day at the Kartola Ski Center in Bulgaria.

Kechkina was also long champion in 2016 and 2018, won silver in 2019 and bronze in 2017, and today’s victory follows her success in middle distance 2 days ago . Here it was a tight finish just 5 seconds ahead of her compatriot Olesia Riazanova, with a third Russian, Alena Trapeznikova, taking bronze 1½ minutes behind the winner. Lisa Larsen of Sweden edged Trapeznikova at the end of the second loop of the three-loop mass start race but finished in fourth place.

Russia’s Vladislav Kiselev was striving to add a fourth gold medal to his collection this week, and he was in the lead at the end of the second loop. At this point Baklid was in second place, 23 seconds behind Kiselev, but in the end it was local skier Stanimir Belomazhev who was Baklid’s closest challenger, finishing 15 seconds behind. Russian veteran Andrei Lamov won bronze, 16 seconds clearer, and Kiselev was fourth after losing more than 2½ minutes on the final loop.

U23 WSOC champions: Ryazanova and Baklid

Today’s race also counts as the second race of the U23 World Ski Championships of the season. The new U23 world champions are Olesia Riazanova and Jørgen Baklid; both won U23 silver medals in the sprint. In today’s race, all three men’s medals went to Norway, with Isak Jonsson and Henrik Frederiksen Aas taking silver and bronze respectively. The silver medalist in the women’s under-23 list is Marina Viatkina of Russia, who won the sprint, and the bronze goes to Elin Schagerstrom of Sweden.

The final race is tomorrow, the 3-man and women’s relay, which starts at 11:00 a.m. local time.

Main results, ESOC Long Distance

Women

  1. Mariya Kechkina RUS 106:38
  2. Olesia Ryazanova RUS 106:43
  3. Alena Trapeznikova RUS 108:08
  4. Lisa Larsen SUE 108:27
  5. Daisy Kudre EST 110.43
  6. Ksenia Terekhova RUS 112.48

Men

  1. Jorgen Baklid NOR 125:27
  2. Stanimir Belomajev BUL 125:42
  3. Andrei Lamov RUS 125:58
  4. Vladislav Kiselev RUS 127:39
  5. Audun Heimdal NOR 129:00
  6. Misa Tuomala END 130:23

SkiO U23 World Championships, Long Race

Women

  1. Olesia Ryazanova RUS 106:43
  2. Marina Vyatkina RUS 116:14
  3. Elin Schagerstrom SWE 121:24
  4. Alexandra Rusakova RUS 122:40
  5. Eliane Deininger SUI 123:59
  6. Maria Hoskari END 125:27

Men

  1. Jorgen Baklid NOR 125:27
  2. Isak Jonsson NOR 131:56
  3. Henrik Frederiksen Aas NOR 132:16
  4. Aapo Viippola END 135:21
  5. Igor Linkevich RUS 135:35
  6. Niklas Ekstrom END 136:39

Dino J. Dotson