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Watson betters Sochi result in 30km Skiathlon

11 February 2018

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: Callum Watson has finished 58th in the men’s 15km + 15km Skiathlon to improve on his Sochi 2014 result in the same event.

In windy conditions that saw the temperature drop below -20 degrees, Watson completed the grueling event in 1:25:15.4.

It was a perfect day for Norway who claimed all three spots on the podium. Simen Hegstad Krueger won the gold in a time of 1:16.20, eight seconds ahead of Martin Johnsrud Sundby in silver and less than 10 seconds ahead of Hans Christer Holund in bronze.

"The windy conditions made it even tougher and any Olympic 30km is pretty hard but I am definitely satisfied with the result," Watson said.

"The goal was to beat the Sochi result for sure.

"I've had some challenges particularly in the last 18 months with the Classical leg so I was happy to push through that and then go hard and pick up some positions in the Freestyle."

Watson finished the 15km Classical leg sitting in 62nd place, just over 4:20 behind then leader Johannes Klaebo of Norway as he switched from his Classical to his Freestyle skis.

https://twitter.com/AUSOlympicTeam/status/962594042683916289

He battled away as conditions worsened to steadily climb into the top 60 by the 17km mark and wasn’t going to let that result slip away.

In a race that matched the intensity and excitement of yesterday’s women’s event, Krueger slipped away with a few kilometres to go and was not headed.

Watson will now look to the 15km Freestyle.

"That's where I've been performing best this season with a PB result this season so hopefully I can improve on this result."

Matt Bartolo
olympics.com.au

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