The king fled. Long live Alexander I! Bolshunov became a three-time Beijing champion

The ski marathon, which everyone had been waiting for, was sensationally canceled in Beijing on the day of the start – the distance was reduced to 28.4 km due to high winds and freezing weather and the start was postponed. postponed an hour later. The wind, by the way, died down at the start of the competition. And minus 16 gave no reason to cancel the race, but the Norwegians took the lead FIS this is such an amazing solution.

Their leader, Johannes Klabo, burst into tears, realizing the illusory nature of his prospects at the fifty-kopeck piece. The fact that the cancellation of the marathon is the work of the Norwegians, said the head of the Russian Ski Racing Federation, Elena Vyalbe. According to her, our skiers were not happy with it, other teams, except Norway too. They suggested moving the marathon to early tomorrow morning, but Clabo didn’t want to run the 50K. “Then they reduced it to 28km, and he said he was running. The Norwegians have already informed the jury that he will not start at 50km,” explained Vyalbe.

As they say, not by washing, therefore by rolling. What can’t you do to create an advantage for your leader, spitting on traditions. The Olympics ended up without a marathon! But who is responsible FIS, it controls the music. Russia and even China were against transfers and cuts. In the end, they didn’t listen.

Norwegian commentator Frederik Auckland made no secret of his thoughts on the beneficiaries of the cancellation of the 50km race. “It’s an advantage for Clabo. Reducing the distance by 20 km significantly reduces the load on the body. And Clabo is the best sprinter, he will take advantage of it.

Two-time Olympic champion Petter Nortug agreed with his compatriot. “This decision should be more disappointing for skiers like Bolshunov, Kruger, Holund and Spitsov. Yes, the whole Russian team. In the Norwegian team, Johannes is the happiest, but barely the rest. We will have a whole different type of race. At 50 km at this altitude, the last kilometer would have been completely different. We could see people almost fainting. I was looking forward to this moment.

In general, the classics of the genre decided everyone – and largely due to the whim of Klebo. And in the end he missed the race, not being ready for such a short distance. He tried to hold on to the lead group on the first lap, then started to fall behind, and when the gap grew more than a minute, he simply crashed out of the race, leaving the battlefield in disgrace. Well, was it worth it for the hysteria of one, albeit a big star, to kill off the main ski start?

Meanwhile, Simen Kruger was considered one of the marathon favorites heading into the Games. The Norwegian, who won bronze in the 50 km at the 2021 World Cup, skiathlon gold medalist at the 2018 Olympics, caught covid and arrived very late in Beijing, preparing directly for the last start. Kruger was full of energy, and he was the main competition for our four – Bolshunov, Denis Spitsov, Artem Maltsev and Ivan Yakimushkin. Finn Ivo Niskanen, the Pyeongchang-2018 marathon champion, left the race early, very tired after previous starts. Moreover, skating is not his crown.

Our Bolshunov in Korea four years ago was the second to fifty dollars, and in China he was considered the main contender for gold. The shortening of the distance made it less likely that you could run away into the gap, but on the other hand, after Klebo retired, you couldn’t be afraid to approach the finish line in the group. There was no one to sprint there, except maybe San Sanych himself.

Five kilometers before the finish line, the eight escaped from all. All of us plus two Norwegians – Kruger and Sur Rete, as well as Frenchman Clément Parisse and American Scott Patterson. Simen was very good, didn’t let Bolshunov go on the last climb, it even looked like he could come with him on the same legs to the home stretch, but in the end the Norwegian didn’t either could keep up.

Kruger in the fight for money was ahead of Yakimushkin, who had a brilliant run. Well, Bolshunov finished like a king: he was driving to his third Olympic gold medal and enjoying the superiority over his rivals. I managed to greet everyone and bow to the finish line. It remains for us to respond in the same way to the triple champion of Beijing. We take our hat off to San Sanych! He is our main hero for the 2022 Olympics.

In total, Bolshunov already has 9 medals in two Games. He has been on the podium in all his Olympic races: four times in Pyeongchang and five times in Beijing. And it’s really cool!

Olympic Games 2022. Beijing

Ski. Mass start 28.4 km. Freestyle

Men

1. Alexander Bolshunov (Russia) – 1:11.32.7

2. Ivan Yakimushkin (Russia) – 5.5

3. Simen Hegstad Kruger (Norway) – 7.0

4. Artem Maltsev (Russia) – 10.7

5. Schur Rete (Norway) – 15.8

6. Denis Spitsov (Russia) – 26.2

7. Clement Parisse (France) – 28.8

8. Scott Patterson (USA) – 33.9

9. William Poromaa (Sweden) – 56.4

10. Maurice Manifica (France) – 57.6