Switzerland’s Wigger completes clean sweep of races to win cross-country gold
Siri Wigger (SUI) took gold in the women’s cross-country cross free on Saturday after winning all three of her races.
The 16-year-old won her qualification and semifinal before taking the Lausanne 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games title in front of a partisan crowd at the Vallee de Joux.
Wigger finished ahead of Swedes Maerta Rosenberg and Tove Ericsson in the final, who took silver and bronze respectively. Just when it looked as if the Swedes would complete a 1-2, Wigger caught her rivals in the final metres and raised her arms in victory just before crossing the finish line.
“I wanted to be in a good position but not necessarily first or second,” Wigger said. “I just wanted to have some energy for the finish. I was tired but it was OK.”
Her effort drew praise from her opponents. “Siri came in very fast, like the wind,” Rosenberg said.
Ericsson said: “The biggest challenge is not to be too tired between the races. It’s easy to be nervous (while waiting) and get tired before the final.”
The Swedes enjoyed a successful opening day in the cross-country skiing competition, adding two more medals minutes after the women’s event concluded.
Nikolai Holmboe (NOR) took gold in the men’s cross-country cross free, finishing ahead of Swedish 17-year-olds Edvin Anger in the silver-medal position and Albin Aastroem in third.
“I had a bad start in the final but I try to get a good position,” Holmboe said. “In the last lap I found a good position and on the last hill I just went all-out.”
Silver medallist Anger said: “My first race was really hard. After that the semifinal was better and the feeling in my body was better. The final, you just go all-out, but it was really hard.”
Aastroem said: “I can’t believe it. When I crossed the finish line I was like, ‘What’s happening?’. I’m just so glad and happy right now.”