He has four sprinters at his hotel in Tiril and Lotta Udnes Weng, Maiken Caspersen Falla and Mathilde Myhrvold.
Still, the sports manager surprised, and asked Therese Johaug to go to the team sprint on Wednesday in a short week, even though she never went sprint or team sprint in the context of the World Cup or Olympics.
– Is there one place Therese can go team sprints, then it’s on the slopes here. He has won one sprint I know of, and that was two years ago. Up a lot, and this one went up quite a bit too, Bjervig told NRK.
– And then we have the height.
– We have a height. He’s in super shape, so it can be really exciting, Bjervig said.
And he really is in great shape. He has won two of the two possible Olympic gold medals for his role. In 15 kilometers he is in a class of his own and crushes competitors.
But at the 10km individual start on Thursday, it really was a second drama. Only four tenths separate Johaug and Kerttu Niskanen from Finland.
– I didn’t say no
Johaug is no stranger to the idea of doing a sport he rarely does. He pointed out that it was up to the coach.
– I’ve said that I can leave, but I leave if they think it’s best for the team. “I know there are a lot of strong girls who are as good as me at this,” Johaug told NRK.
He says that he is fit and the road is tough.
– Team sprints are a lot about capacity, but also a lot about on-court experience, tactics and speed that I might not have. It’s up to the coach to decide. The other girls are very nice.
– Is it relevant to go to all the Olympic exercises?
– I haven’t run a sprint yet, but if they ask I would. I’m not saying no, said Johang.
NRK expert thinks Johaug should go
Ole Morten Iversen, cross-country coach for women, believes this is the right time for the 33-year-old to take a team sprint.
– Yes, he is now. But we have to get rid of the races to run first, then we count and evaluate the teams. Therese is always relevant. The more difficult the path, the more relevant he is, Iversen believes.
Have you talked about it?
– No, that’s not a topic yet. We’ll see now how things go. I think he will accept the challenge if he is asked, but we have to accept it then.
NRK cross-country expert Torgeir Bjørn also believes the time is right to use Johaug for team sprints. Falla has previously described himself in such training, but after a very tough year, he thinks Johaug is very relevant to take one of the places.
– Yes, I want to say it. Especially the height that does it. This is also not a tactical-technical path. I’m also not far off using Holund in team sprints. Those with the highest oxygen uptake, those with good endurance, earn their due in team sprints, says Bjørn.
Bjørn destroys Falla
He gave an example, although there are many sprinters in the team, they are different from team sprints. Norway has previously had success with Martin Johnsrud Sundby, who often has a large lung capacity, and Johannes Høsflot Klæbo.
– Endurance is of the utmost importance in team sprints. Therefore, it is suitable for runners who are the best in the distance. Therefore, Therese Johaug was the first one I took, as she is fit and able to tackle heights and slopes. This compensates for the lack of quality sprints and the experience of going sprinting, Bjørn explains.
He believes it is important to see the difference between a regular sprint and a team sprint.
– Team sprints are not sprints – this is endurance training. Therese was the first one I took, but she definitely wanted one herself. He should have enough time to prepare three thousand, he said.
Thus, he also rejected Maiken Caspersen Falla in his chosen team.
– Designated Tiril. Maiken can’t walk now, so he has to walk.
Swedes think the same
If Johaug took one place, he could quickly stand between Tiril Udnes Weng and Falla.
Commentator Jann Post agrees with his colleague.
– There’s one more thing that speaks for it. The relay runs on Saturday, and three miles next Sunday. Johaug had to do some tough training again, and then he could barely do team sprints, said the Post.
Sweden could also be in the same mindset, where they could decide to use Frida Karlsson on the team sprint. But it can be difficult.
– Karlsson will also go to the team sprint with his best friend Maja Dahlqvist. It might be difficult to get a place there after Jonna Sundling showed off the sprint race early in the championship, thought Bjørn.
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