Weng (29) captured a strong second place in Sunday’s 10-kilometer classic at the Norwegian Cup in Natrudstilen, beaten only by the world’s best cross-country skier Therese Johaug (32).
– If this is going well, then I don’t understand anything. Then I don’t understand what I’m made of, at least, Weng told NRK before the final result was clear.
By that time she had already cost herself a little joy, it went too well:
Weng was fastest in the first half after 700 meters. From there, Johaug kept a higher pace, and the margin of victory was 25.3 seconds in the end. Helene Marie Fossesholm is number three, 39.9 seconds behind Johaug.
– It was completely out of her mind at Ruka, she made a race that gives hope for good performances over the winter, NRK expert commentator Torgeir Bjørn said of Weng’s race.
Have to have time off
Today’s result is progress after a difficult time for Heidi Weng.
In connection with the national cross-country opening in Beitostølen, Weng said she had concerns regarding the corona pandemic, and acknowledged that she had concerns about traveling abroad.
She still reached the World Cup opening in Ruka, Finland. But after a weak sprint prologue last Friday, he withdrew.
– I think it’s a bit in my head right now, he told NRK after the race.
– Heidi Weng has no pleasure in going skiing now, national team doctor Øystein Andersen said in a press release the next morning.
Now she wants to forget what happened in Finland.
– I don’t feel there is any point in thinking about it now. I’ve done a little bit with it, and then I’m really happy with the race today, and then I think it’s going to be a really good season, he told NRK.
Without sleep and was completely relieved
However, Weng speaks of huge support after what happened.
– I’m done with that case, and then I understand that people are wondering. And I think it’s unbelievably nice, I’ve collected a lot of messages from people who really appreciate me. It’s a feeling that people worry so much, I appreciate it, he said.
Here’s how national team coach Ole Morten Iversen describes what happened:
– She, as I proved, was completely released. She didn’t sleep, was tired and even said she had some fear of corona. She was not herself at all.
Initially, Weng was not supposed to start in Natrudstilen, but she did. The instructor and student are happy in retrospect.
– I think it’s a great relief to Heidi that she’s having some time at home. And we need Heidi healthy and fast, Iversen said.
Tour-critical: – Sounds hefty
Now the question is what will happen in the future, with Weng and the rest of the national team
Norway has decided not to field teams for the World Cup in Davos and Dresden the next two weekends, and has also indicated that it does not apply to field teams at the Tour de Ski.
At the same time, new stories are constantly coming up from the cross country family about the possible consequences of the corona.
On Friday, former best runner Maria Strøm Nakstad told NRK how she is struggling with the after-effects of being hit by covid-19. On Saturday, Russian star Sergei Ustyugov said on Instagram that he was far from recovering after being hit by a crown at an assembly in Italy’s Val Senales in the second half of October.
Weng is aware that she does not want to participate in the Tour de Ski unless the original racing program is changed. Eight steps in three locations are irrelevant. So too does Therese Johaug.
– It sounds great that you should only roll over when there is a pandemic. That there is no plan B, I think it sounds strange. But they get in control, and then we get to see what the people think we should do, then I do what I’m told, Heidi Weng says.