Marit Bjørgen has been in the position of Queen for years, but went after last season. Prior to the forthcoming World Cup season many people point to Therese Johaug, who makes comeback after her doping ban, as the hottest candidate to become the new leader.
Thomas Wassberg is among them. On NTB questions about who sails up as the premier queen, he answers:
– It’s Therese, that.
Therese has worked well
Wassberg, who has been in Oslo this week in connection with the launch of the new book about Oddvar Brå, is not at all convinced that Johaug fires all cylinders from the first rooftop roof.
“There is a question about whether she gets started immediately with the routines surrounding competitions. I think she has worked well, so it’s no problem, but there may be something about competing every week again, “said the 62-year-old.
Wassberg, who is known for the history of the hundredth century that gave him the 15-kilometer gold in the Lake Placid in 1980, is not yet sure that anyone in the foreseeable future will be able to copy Bjørgen’s dominance.
The abandoned cross-country queen was for good periods in the sprint as in longer distances. Likewise, the potential heiress Johaug can not boast.
“She is not good at sprint. That’s her problem. Marit was much better, says Wassberg – adding:
“But there will certainly be someone in the future who is good at both. Those who are 100 percent both on sprint and team distance may not be there anymore, but there are probably those who are “almost”.
Oddvar Brå also strongly believes in Johaug’s successful coming winter, but assumes that the conditions have changed compared to the situation before the cross-country skiing doping quarantine.
“I think Johaug is in place, but now it’s also a lot more shorter distances than it was before the two years she was gone. She gets a little less chance than before, points out the Norwegian dislike.
Believes in good reception by the competitors
The first competition for Johaug with snow under the skis will be the traditional opening races at Beitostølen in mid-November. Then it is as usual the World Cup opening in Finnish Ruka.
Thomas Wassberg believes Johaug will be well received by the competitors in the wake of the exclusion.
– She is definitely very welcome. It is obviously asked what those who come from abroad think, it’s not good to say, but I have no suspicion of her that way, “said Wassberg.
The season’s big goal for cross-country runners is the World Cup in Seefeld in February / March next year.