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Kikkan Randall Wins First-Ever World Cup
Sprint Title By Hank McKee
She may not have won the race, but Kikkan Randall won the
World Cup sprint title on March 7 in Drammen, Norway, when
her 11th-place finish after a semifinal crash gave her a stand-
ings lead of 135 point with just one sprint remaining. It is the
first sprint title ever for an American and the first U.S. World
Cup title in 30 years.
Randall won two events this season at Duesseldorf, Germany,
on Dec. 3; and at Davos, Switzerland, on Dec. 11 to take the
early lead in the standings. A second place scored at Milan in
mid-January and a third at Szklarska Poreba, Poland on Feb.
17 helped fuel the final push.
“The sprint overall World Cup was my goal and focus all sea-
son,” said Randall. “It’s been a long season, a lot of racing and
it’s been an exciting competition to the end. But I am happy to
finally secure it now. We have had an incredible team this year
— coaches, staff and athletes during the entire season — and
it’s definitively a team effort to win the globe.”
“Kikkan looked incredible today,” said coach Chris Grover. “She
appeared to be on her way to the final when she got tangled
up and broke her binding. The fact that she has won the sprint
globe has not quite sunk in yet.”
Norway’s Maiken Casperen Falla and Poland’s Justyna Kow-
alczyk had been in hot pursuit but Randall’s lead proved too
much to overcome.
Swede Teodor Peterson secured the men’s sprint trophy.
The men’s overall title was also determined in Drammen with
five races remaining. Before the race started, Swiss Dario Co-
logna won the World Cup when runner-up Petter Northug of
Norway declined to start. Canadian Devon Kershaw is third in
The Drammen sprints were won by Marit Bjoergen and Eirik
Brandsdal, both of Norway. Canadian Len Valjas was second in
the men’s race scoring his first career World Cup podium finish.
Paal Golberg was third. Behind Bjoergen were Astrid Jacobsen
in second and Kowalcyk in third. Kowalczyk is 118 points be-
hind Bjoergen for the women’s overall title with Therese Johaug
third, out of reach of the title. Randall sits fourth.