History Made: Karlsson Claims First Ever Women’s 50km Classic World Cup Victory

Saturday at Oslo, Norway, witnessed a historic moment in cross-country skiing as the first ever women’s 50km classic World Cup race unfolded. Leading the charge to a Swedish one-two finish was Frida Karlsson, dominating the grueling competition.

Karlsson, a force to be reckoned with, broke away from the leading pack at the iconic Holmenkollen ski center after the 30km mark. Her unwavering focus and impressive pace propelled her to victory in a time of 2 hours, 20 minutes, and 20.3 seconds, securing her a remarkable 11th career World Cup win.

Following closely behind Karlsson was fellow Swede Ebba Andersson, crossing the finish line 1 minute and 19.3 seconds later. Rounding out the podium in a thrilling sprint finish was Germany’s Katharina Hennig, edging out American frontrunner Jessica Diggins by a mere 5.9 seconds. Diggins, the current World Cup leader, finished a disappointing 11th, over four minutes behind the champion.

“The race was incredibly enjoyable,” commented Karlsson after her triumphant victory. “I put in a tremendous effort to create the gap, and my composure remained ice-cold throughout,” she added, referencing a Swedish expression for maintaining calm under pressure.

This historic race marks the second year in a row that Oslo has hosted a women’s 50km event, with last year’s edition contested in the freestyle technique. The landmark decision to have men and women compete over the same distance at World Cup weekends added another layer of significance to this groundbreaking event. However, it’s important to note that the 50km distance is currently exclusive to the prestigious Holmenkollen venue.

The excitement continues at Holmenkollen this weekend, with the men’s 50km race scheduled for Sunday. Additionally, Nordic combined skiers and ski jumpers are also vying for top honors in their respective World Cup events.

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