Frightening scenes at the finale of the Tour de Ski in Val di Fiemme. Numerous cross-country skiers collapse right after the finish. The overall winner, Frida Karlsson from Sweden, cannot take part in the award ceremony. The German Katharina Hennig provides the best result ever.
The missed overall podium was quickly ticked off for Katharina Hennig. The 26-year-old Olympic champion dragged herself up the steep Alpe Cermis with the last of her strength, then the best performance by a German cross-country skier in the history of the Tour de Ski was perfect. “It was a great finish, a great encore: With a fifth place overall, which she saved across the finish line,” said team manager Peter Schlickenrieder.
On the final ascent with ramps of up to 28 percent, Hennig lost touch with the world leaders and was only 19th in the final daily classification in Val di Fiemme. But the amazing and deserved mass start victory on the wonderfully sunny Saturday was still having an impact 24 hours later.
The overall victory went to the Swede Frida Karlsson, who was badly exhausted at the finish line, ahead of the Finn Kerttu Niskanen and the Norwegian Tiril Udnes Weng. Karlsson collapsed right after the finish line, stayed there for a few minutes before a team of doctors took care of the 23-year-old. She was unable to attend the awards ceremony. The Swedish media gave the all-clear a little later. Karlsson was awake and responsive, it said.
In addition to the Swede, several other women fell over right after the finish line. The completely exhausted athletes even blocked the finish line for the following cross-country skiers. The French Delphine Claudel secured the day’s victory.
The American Rosie Brennan passed Hennig on Sunday, but fifth place was still more than a respectable success for the 2022 Beijing gold winner. The woman from Oberwiesenthal left behind the strong Norwegian Heidi Weng – even though her participation before the turn of the year was questionable for a long time due to a cold. “It means a lot to me. If someone had told me that, I wouldn’t have believed it,” said Hennig, who felt sick again this weekend.
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