– It feels almost better than at 10 km. “It’s great fun towing it ashore, and luck I haven’t known for a long time,” the overjoyed gold winner told NRK.
Nilsen finally secured a solid hold for the competitors, and entered the race with majesty of its own.
– It’s great to be able to advance to victory, it’s so much fun.
Silver went to American Sydney Peterson, while Nilsen’s toughest rival at the World Cup, Ljudmila Liasjenko had to settle for bronze.
Beat the rivals
“I thought he opened too hard on the ground, and I knew that if I took the lead, no one could take me,” said Nilsen of his Ukrainian rival.
Competitors think he has no chance.
– It is impossible to beat Vilde in classic. I used one stick, whereas Vilde used both. This gives him a big advantage, answered Liashenko.
The gold is the second for the 21-year-old at the World Cup in snow sports for the paired athlete, and the third medal in total.
The 21-year-old from Troms claimed superior gold early in the championship in the opening 10km classic.
In addition, there was a silver medal in the 15 km freestyle, after an intense second fight with Lyashenko.
Get revenge for silver
Saturday’s gold medal would be nice payback for silver in the free 15km, which Nilsen admits had annoyed him a bit.
– I slept very badly the night after silver, but I managed to adjust and I have been working hard mentally the last few days.
Two gold and one silver is the final before Sunday’s relay, and Nilsen is very happy with that.
– It’s fantastic and I’m very relieved that there are two gold. I showed it was possible with three gold medals, but I’m more than happy with this.
Nilsen’s coach Magnus Evenby was also very happy with the gold, although he almost hoped Nilsen could snatch the win.
– It’s probably not allowed to say it, but I’m pretty sure that today will go well.
46 years into men’s sprint final
Nilsen proved from the start as the favorite at distance, and in the semifinals neither came close to the Norwegian.
He quickly overtook the competition, and then left with majesty alone until the end.
There were several Norwegians who made it to the semifinals in their respective classes, but only the sensational Kjartan Haugen and Nilsen made it to the final.
The 46 year old Haugen was very surprised, and pointed out that there was still a lot alive inside of him. In the final it was too difficult, and the Norwegian ended up being sixth.
Birgit Skarstein was number five in his semifinal match, while Thomas Oxaal was unlucky and ended way behind in his match after colliding with one of his fellow competitors.
– I was sure I would fall, but I wasn’t fast enough after that, Oxaal concluded.
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