Lahti, Finland. The 2017 Nordic World Ski Championships began today in Lahti, Finland. In the opening race, the skate sprint, the U.S. qualified all 4 of their starters to the heats, with Kikkan Randall leading the way with a 10th. In the heats, Kikkan finished 3rd in her quarterfinal, which was fast enough to move on to the semi-final as one of two lucky losers.
Kikkan finished 2nd in her semi-final and would move on to the final along with two other U.S. teammates- Jessie Diggins and Sophie Caldwell. Half of the final would be composed of U.S. women- 3 of the 6 competitors.
Kikkan would go on to earn a World Championship Bronze medal, only 10 months after giving birth to her son Breck. Jessie Diggins finished 2nd and Sophie Caldwell 6th. Full results can be seen here.
“I was not so optimistic after a few World Cups that today was possible. I had a slow start to the season and I needed to be patient. It’s a magical day for our team today to have two of us on the podium and 3 in the final.” – Kikkan Randall on her World Championships Bronze medal in the skate sprint
6 APU athletes are competing at this year’s World Championships. Sadie Bjornsen, Rosie Brennan, Chelsea Holmes, Kikkan Randall and Erik Bjornsen are competing for the U.S. and Jessica Yeaton is competing for her home country of Australia.
World Championships Race schedule is as follows and races can be watched live on NBCsports.com (Lahti, Finland is 11 hours ahead of Alaska).
February 23- 3pm Skate Sprint Qualification (M &W). 5:30pm Sprint Final
February 25- 12:00pm 15km Skiathlon (W). 2:30pm 30km Skiathlon (M)
February 26- 11:30am Classic Team Sprint Qualification (M&W). 1:30pm Team Sprint Final (M&W). February 28- 1:30pm 10km Classic (W)
March 1- 1:30pm 15k Classic (M)
March 2- 3:00pm 4x5k Relay (W)
March 3- 1:30pm 4x10k Relay (M)
March 4- 2:30pm 30k Skate Mass Start (W)
March 5- 2:30pm 50k Skate Mass Start (M)