“These medals mean the world to me”

January 30, 2023

Championship titles and medals galore, one first-ever World Cup podium and one oh-so-close: Team Madshus was hard at work the last week.

Team Madshus is on a roll on all stages: IBU biathlon championships, FIS cross-country World Cup and Ski Classics long-distance racing.

At the FIS cross-country World Cup, Harald Østberg Amundsen (NOR)won the 10km skate race on Friday and bagged his first-ever World Cup podium-and his ticket to the 2023 World Championshipsin Panica (SLO) in February.

“I was depending on a podium finish to day in order to seal my ticket to theWorld Championships. Now, I will be hard to avoid on that team selection. I have delivered three victories three weeks in a row in three skate races that were announced as Worlds qualifiers. It has been a mental challenge. I got through it, and it feels insanely good,” Østberg Amundsen said after his victory in Les Rousses (FRA) on Friday.

Hauling into a solid top 10 finish in the 20km classic race on Sunday was just icing on the cake for the 24-year-old.

Marred by illness at the start of the season and missing most races before mid-January, Østberg Amundsen has moved from an unlikely outsider to bankers in the Norwegian team to theWorld Championships.

Additionally at the World Cup in Les Rousses (FRA), Swedish super talent Edvin Anger was fourth in the sprint final on Saturday. The 20-year-old was only half a toe-length from his first World Cup podium, and posted his best World Cup finish to date.

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Photo by: Nordic Focus

At the Para World Championships in Sweden, Vilde Nilsen (NOR) extended her medal collection as well. After winning the opening race last Sunday, the 22-year-old Norwegian earned the silver medal in the skate sprint on Tuesday and another gold medal in the 10-kilometer skate race on Saturday. Finally, on Sunday, Nilsen helped Norway to silver in the mixed relay.

It was a good week for the Merkushyna family as well: 18-year-old Oleksandra took home a gold and a bronze medal from the European Youth Olympics. Then, older sister Anastasiya won the gold medal in the sprint at the European Biathlon Championships in Lenzerheide (SUI) on Friday.

Also at the European Biathlon Championships, Vebjørn Sørum (NOR) won the silver medal in the sprint on Friday, setting himself up nicely for the pursuit on Saturday. The 24-year-old didn’t waste the opportunity. Rocket fast on the course, Sørum cruised into first place and won by nearly half a minute, despite starting seconds back, and missing twice at the range. Sunday, he anchored Norway to gold in the mixed relay.

“These medals mean a lot to me. They prove that all the work and training I have put in is paying off. I’m super excited for the rest of the season,” Sørum says after his impressive performances in Lenzerheide.

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Photo by: Nordic Focus

Finally, Thomas Bing (GER) was 8th and Alvar Myhlback (SWE) 17th in Marcialonga in Italy.

Bing was 25 seconds from the podium in the 70km long-distance Grand Classics event. 16-year-old Ski Classics rookie Myhlback was less than half a minute out of the podium in his first attempt at the long-distance monument.


Photo by: Nordic Focus