Alexander Bolshunov, Russian Athlete has won cross country men’s skiing gold medal at Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 in 30km skiathlon.
Alexander Bolshunov is a world Championship holder of distance races, carried Russian fed Flag and waved it flourishing in the sky when he completed race in 1 hour, 16 minutes and 9.8 seconds.
“My emotions cannot be expressed,” he said after the race.I still have not realized that I am truly an Olympic champion.”
Alexander Bolshunov and Iivo Niskanen of Finland led the race through the first four classic ski laps, but Russian athlete Denis Spitsov passed Niskanen on the freestyle legs.
Spitsov stayed out front and secured the silver, 1:11 behind Bolshunov. Niskanen held on for the bronze, 2:00 behind.
Bolshunov said that once he and Niskanen moved into the lead, he knew it was his chance.
“I just started to work together with him and then on the freeskate portion I understood that the most important thing was to get to the finish line without being overwhelmed by any personal emotions and to take my gold medal,” Alexander Bolshunov said.
Niskanen said his plan was to push on the classic legs, but the skate half was tougher.
“The pace was high after the first lap all the time and I couldn’t hang with the Russians,” he said.
“They were so strong that it was a long race to push alone. To get the bronze, I’m happy about it.”
Spitsov said he was pleased with how his skis worked in the classic section.
“But on the freeskate, in the last three laps, I was just enduring the pain and dreaming for this race to end faster because it was very hard,” he said.
The skiathlon is a mass-start race that began with 15 kilometers of classic skiing. After four laps around the 3.75-kilometer course, racers came through the stadium and quickly switched to skate skis before heading out for another four laps.
World Cup Skiathlon has been held three times since 2018 of which Alexander Bolshunov has won 2 times while Emil Imerson has won 1 of it.
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