US women’s cross-country ski team misses medal in world championship relay

A relay medal continues to be elusive for the US women’s cross country ski team.

Hailey Swirbul, Sadie Maubet Bjornsen, Rosie Brennan and Jessie diggins was fourth at the world championships, missing bronze by eight-tenths of a second in Oberstdorf, Germany on Thursday.

Diggins, who won the final team sprint at PyeongChang in 2018 for the first-ever US Olympic title, was passed by the veteran Finland Krista parmakoski late at anchor after having skied just in front of Parmakoski for a good part of the stage.

“I played the only card I had, and I knew I had to ski twice as hard as the girls that were with us, and I tried my best to drop them in the one place I thought power, and I’m really proud of this effort, ”said Diggins, according to US Ski and Snowboard. “It’s heartbreaking to come close to a medal and know that in terms of fitness we are so there, and that is what is really encouraging because it is the only part that we can really do. to control is to enter the world championships knowing that our physical form is there, our spirits are there, our tactics are there and, more importantly, that we are serious enough. “

Norway won gold with 26.6 seconds ahead of Russia.

The United States were in eighth place after 22-year-old rookie Swirbul’s first leg. Two-time Olympian Maubet Bjornsen brought the Americans back to fourth place after the second classic stage.

Brennan, a 2018 Olympian who was not in the relay quartet at PyeongChang, was third for much of Game 3 before dropping to fifth on the transfer but close to Germany and Finland .

Diggins, the overall World Cup leader with a dream season on this circuit, set the tone at anchor. She pushed back Germany but couldn’t let down Parmakoski, 30, who anchored Finland to relay medals at the 2011 Olympics and World Games.

In 2005, at the world championships in Oberstdorf, the United States fell behind, was on the verge of being overtaken and was withdrawn from the race before the anchoring stage. It was the lowest for the program.

The following season, the US ski team decided to nominate zero women in their national team, devoting the funding to men.

Directed by Kikkan Randall, American women have spent more than ten years climbing. Randall, now retired, and Diggins peaked in the team sprint at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics.

A relay medal, a true sign of the depth of a program, remains to come. The Americans took fourth place at the world championships in 2013, 2015 and 2017, and fifth at the 2018 Olympics and 2019 Worlds.

“For about six championships in a row we knew it was possible if we had all the ducks lined up, but part of the game is getting those ducks lined up, and that’s why we keep coming back and fighting,” Maubet Bjornsen said. , according to US Ski and Snowboard.

The world championships continue on Friday with the men’s relay, live on the Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA. A full live TV and broadcast schedule is here.

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