Katharina Hennig secured the best Olympic result for a German cross-country skier since 2006 in fifth place over ten kilometers.
When Norwegian Therese Johaug triumphed again, the Saxon missed a medal on her parade route in the classic technique by just 11.9 seconds. Katherine Sauerbrey also impressed in eleventh place. Better than Hennig was Claudia Nystad, who won silver in the sprint 16 years ago.
“I’m super happy that I was finally able to perform 100 percent at a major event. That’s what I can do,” said Hennig, who collapsed in the skiathlon on Saturday and finished 15th: “I learned my lesson and tried to start with the handbrake on. The plan worked.”
Olympic debutant Sauerbrey was also fully convincing and left behind Frida Karlsson from Sweden, who came second at the World Championships.
DSV team hopes for relay medal
There are legitimate hopes of a medal for the relay on Saturday. “You can flirt with it, but you can’t count on it. We’ll give everything for it and fight like pigs,” said Hennig. Antonia Fräbel and Laura Gimmler, who were not scheduled for the relay, finished 28th and 33rd.
Johaug was unstoppable again five days after winning the skiathlon, but after 28:06.3 minutes she was only 0.4 seconds ahead of Finland’s Kerttu Niskanen, whose brother Iivo had won bronze in the skiathlon on Sunday. As in 2018, third place went to Niskanen’s teammate Krista Pärmäkoski.
For Johaug, who missed the 2018 Olympics due to a doping ban, it was the third gold medal of her career. The 33-year-old is the second double Olympic champion in Beijing. Before her, the Slovenian ski jumper Ursa Bogataj had won gold in singles and mixed.