Liberec, Czech Republic – Petter Northug of Norway finished in just under two hours to grab the last gold medal of the 2009 FIS Nordic Ski World Championships as he won the men’s 50K Sunday in Liberec. Anchorage’s James Southam led the way for the U.S. finishing 39th.
“Our athletes skied as hard and as fast as they could the whole day and that’s all we can ask for,” U.S. Cross Country Head Coach Pete Vordenberg said.
Russia’s Maxim Vylegzhanin finished second with the silver and Tobias Angerer of Germany was third. Garrott Kuzzy (Hayward, WI) followed Southam for the U.S., finishing 44th.
According to Vordenberg, looking back at the accomplishments of the USA during World Championships, he is amazed at the success and happy to live up to the aspirations of the U.S. Ski Team.
In the end, the U.S. finished second in the medals standings for the FIS Nordic Ski World championships with six medals in total, including four wins.
“It was a great World Championships for us. The U.S. in nordic had great results and that’s huge in comparison to anything we’ve done in the past,” Vordenberg said.
The national teams now head to Lahti, Finland, to resume the World Cup season.
“We have some skiers in great shape. Kikkan [Randall; Anchorage, AK], Andy [Newell; Shaftsburry, VT], Torin [Koos; Leavenworth, WA] , Liz [Stephen; East Montpelier, VT] and Morgan [Arritola; Ketchum, ID] are all heading up there in really good shape, so it should keep rolling,” Vordenberg said.
At the conclusion of the 2009 FIS Nordic Ski World Championships, International Ski Federation (FIS) President Gian Franco Kasper was pleased with how the event turned out.
“We have experienced great championships here in Liberec,” summarized Kasper. “These FIS Nordic World Ski Championships mark a new milestone in the history of our championships. It is the first time that a nation without many of their own national favorites has organized such successful championships. On several days there were very significant numbers of spectators at the venues and the final figure should reach to 180’000-200’000 spectators in 12 days. The evening medal ceremonies at the Liberec Medal Plaza, each night full with fans from around the world, were a truly emotional tribute to our best Nordic skiers. And this was achieved with continual snowfall for most of the championships making traveling conditions more difficult for the visitors.”
2009 NORDIC SKI WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Liberec, Czech Republic – March 1, 2009
1. Petter Northug, Norway, 1:59:38.1
2. Maxim Vylegzhanin, Russia, 1:59:38.8
3. Tobias Angerer, Germany, 1:59:40.1
4. Giorgio Di Centa, Italy, 1:59:42.1
5. Sergei Dolidovich, Belarus, 1:59:43.7