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Olympic Games - Beijing, China - 2 - 22 February 2022

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    Olympic Games - Beijing, China - 2 - 22 February 2022

    Saturday 12.02.2022 - Womens Relay 4x5 km:

    Winter Olympics Beijing 2022 - Cross-Country Skiing

    Zhangjiakou Zone - National Cross-Country Skiing Centre

    Event start: 09:00 CET (16:00 Local time)

    With the upcoming Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, only 3 months away, it will be a very special build up the next weeks/months, as everyone want to prove solid form in the opening events to get a ticket to their main goal the last 3 years.

    The Womens and Mens Relay are the main Cross-Country events during the Winter Olympics, and the skiiers positions in the team are often planned well ahead, with possibility to change with recent form ahead of the races.

    In the Womens Relay, Norway have been priced at 2.75 (@Unibet) to win.
    The Norwegians won the World Championships in Oberstdorf 2021 with the team: Tiril U Weng, Heidi Weng, Therese Johaug and Helene Fossesholm. 0.26 min in front of Russia, 0:46 min in front of Finland, and 0:47 min in front of USA. This is a very likely team to start also in the 2022 Olympics, with Ingvild F Ostberg as an outsider after long term break, or a top form skiier in the opening of the 2021/22 season like by example Lotta U Weng. Both Weng twins in the Relay team in the Olympics would be interesting.

    The Swedes are rated Unibets 1.75 favorites to win, and with Frida Karlsson and Ebba Andersson in top form, medals are very likely.
    Andersson, Karlsson, Charlotte Kalla and Stina Nilsson won the Womens Relay in the World Championships in Seefeld 2019, 0:03 min in front of Norway, and 2:03 min in front of Russia.
    Stina Nilsson changed sport to Biathlon in front of the 2020/21 season, while Charlotte Kallas form was in doubt several times last season. Sprint star Linn Svahn could have been a good choice for the 4th Leg, but shes recovering from long term injury and must be rated doubtful. Sweden are the main favorites to win the Team Sprint 4 days later, but Jonna Sundling and Maja Dahlqvist could also be alternatives here on the Relay.
    In the World Championships in Oberstdorf 2021 Sweden ended 6th, 2 minutes behind Norway with the team: Sundling, Kalla, Andersson, Karlsson. They were 1:14 min behind Finland at 3rd then.
    Time will show who will join Karlsson and Andersson in February, but Team Sweden have some tough choices to make before this race, and they have to make the correct ones for this to end in gold.

    In the Olympic Games in PyeongChang 2018, Norway won 0:02 min in front of Sweden, with Russia at 3rd 0:43 min behind. Bjorgen and Jacobsen have retired since then, while Ostberg and Haga will have to prove form in the few months ahead in order to challenge for a relay spot. For the Swedish side are Andersson close to guaranteed a spot, while Kalla have to show form the next months. Haag has retired, and Nilsson is now participating in Biathlon.

    Russia can always fight in the top of a Womens Relay, if all their stars are in form at the same time. Yulia Stupak, Tatiana Sorina and Natalia Nepryaeva are all medal candidates in individual distances if they reach top form in the Olympics. Together with Yana Kirpichenko they claimed the silver medals in the World Championships in Oberstdorf 2021, and this team can give both favorite teams a real fight here.

    USA led by the winner of the World Cup in 2020/21 Jessica Diggins, can also fight for medals on a good day. Her team with Rosie Brennan, Hailey Swirbul and Sadie Bjornsen were less than a second behind Finland for the Bronze medals in the World Championships in Oberstdorf 2021, and the Americans have a tendency to match their top form in time for a major event.

    Finland struggled last season, as their former stars Niskanen and Parmakoski were far from their former highs. They still managed to claim the bronze in the World Championships in Oberstdorf in 2021 though, and with that late morale boost, we may see a improved Finnish side in 2022.

    Germany, Czech Republic and Switzerland can surprise with a good set of results in front of the championships, and claim medals.

    Summary:

    I believe Frida Karlsson and Ebba Andersson will claim medals in Beijing, but I see Sweden as clear medal candidates more than the favorites, due to the questions regarding the other positions in the team.
    Norway won the Olympics in PyeongChang 2018, finished 2nd in the World Championships in Seefeld 2019, won the World Championships in Oberstdorf 2021, and will be my favorites in this high priority event for them.
    Russia have claimed medals in the Olympics in PyeongChang 2018, the World Championships in Seefeld 2019 and the World Championships in Oberstdorf 2021, and they should have a good chance of claiming medals again. The Russian side also have the potential to claim the win if all 4 skiiers have a max day, and can be tested at odds 6 for long shot bets.
    I will back Team Norway at this odds.

    Pick: Norway, 9/10 stakes, odds [email protected] Good luck!









    #2
    Tuesday 08.02.2022 - Womens Sprint (Free Technique):

    Winter Olympics Beijing 2022 - Cross-Country Skiing

    Zhangjiakou Zone - National Cross-Country Skiing Centre

    Event start: 09:00 CET (16:00 Local time)

    Info: For the Sprint events, the 30 best skiiers advance from the Qual into the QF, SF, Finals stage.

    The Womens Sprints have been dominated by the Swedish side the latest seasons.
    The Gold medalist from the Classic Sprint in the Olympic Games in PyeongChang 2018, and Silver medalist from the Free Technique Sprint in the World Championships in Seefeld 2019, Stina Nilsson, is now participating in Biathlon, and will not start here.

    Jonna Sundling won the Classic Sprint in the World Championships in Oberstdorf 2021 in front of Maiken Caspersen Falla and Anamarija Lampic. She ended 4th in the Free Technique Sprint behind Falla, Nilsson and Mari Eide in the World Championships in Seefeld 2019.
    Sundling should be rated the main favorite in Beijing 2022, but Linn Svahns injury/recovery will matter a lot for Sundlings gold chances. Clear medal candidate no matter the opposition.

    Linn Svahn had 4 Sprint wins in a row (Classic/Free Technique) in the 2020/21 season, and won most of them with ease. She would normally be the clear favorite in such an event, but the injury problems that ruined her World Championships ambitions then, has resulted into surgery two months ago. Her recovery and preparations for the Olympics will not be ideal, but it may be just in time. Big outsider.

    Maiken Caspersen Falla got a Bronze in the Classic Sprint in the World Championships in Val di Fiemme 2013, she won the Gold medal in the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014, she got a Bronze in the Classic Sprint in the World Championships in Falun 2015, she won the Gold medal in the Free Technique Sprint in the World Championships in Lahti 2017, she got the Silver medal in the Classic Sprint in the Olympic Games in PyeongChang 2018, she won the gold medal in the Free Technique Sprint in the World Championships in Seefeld 2019, and she got the Silver medal in the Classic Sprint in the World Championships in Oberstdorf in 2021.
    Even though Falla managed to claim the Silver in the World Championships last season, Falla struggled much more than usual to reach her top form, and Unibet offer 7.00 for Falla to claim a 8th straight medal in a major Sprint (World Championships or Olympics).

    There are many good contestants here though, Maja Dahlqvist, the Weng twins, Anamarija Lampic, Carl, Faendrich, Diggins, Nepryaeva and hopefully some new talents in the mix for medals.

    Summary:

    Even though Falla struggled to find her top form for most of last season, and may never get the chance to travel to Beijing, I believe this is a must bet value wise, as she has full focus on the Sprint and perhaps Team Sprint this year. It would be insane to claim medals in 3 straight Olympic Games Sprints, and to claim her 8th straight medal in major Sprints (World Championships, Olympic Games), but she has done it time after time before. I believe she will find the form to join the squad, and her winning mentality is not in question.
    The Swedes may be the main gold favorites, but Falla can absolutely end top 3 again.

    Pick: Maiken Caspersen Falla (Norway) to end top 3, 9/10 stakes, odds [email protected] Good luck!







    Comment


      #3
      Friday 11.02.2022 - Mens 15 km Individual (Classic):

      Winter Olympics Beijing 2022 - Cross-Country Skiing

      Zhangjiakou Zone - National Cross-Country Skiing Centre

      Event start: 08:00 CET (15:00 Local time)

      Alexander Bolshunov (Russia) will be the main favorite at Skiathlon (15 km Classic + 15 km Free), 15 km Classic and the 50 km Free Mass Start, and the strong Russian will also have chances for medals at the Sprint, Team Sprint and Mens Relay for Russia.
      The altitude the athletes will compete on in the Zhangjiakou area, is likely to demand more time for restitution of the athletes, in order to perform at their highest level.
      Both Alexander Bolshunov and Johannes Hosflot Klabo are main favorites to win the Skiathlon and Sprint events, and the key Mens Relay are two days after this 15 km Classic. Klabo has openly told media hes considering skipping some of the events, and this 15 km Classic could be a smart distance to skip, in order to be at his best at his biggest gold chances, Skiathlon, Sprint, Mens Relay, Team Sprint. Unfortunatly for Klabo, this means saving energy during a distance he could do very well in, as 15 km Classic suits him well at his best.

      Bolshunov doesnt skip events often, but he will have burned a lot of energy at the Skiathlon and Sprint events, and he will of coarse be at his best for Russia in the Mens Relay, Sunday the 13th. I have a feeling Bolshunov may not be at 100% for this 15 km Classic.

      The first name that crossed my mind when analysing the 15 km Classic in the Olympic Games in Beijing 2022, was Iivo Niskanen.
      The Finnish Classic specialist won the 15 km Classic at home in the World Championships in Lahti 2017, and he won the 50 km Classic Mass Start in the Olympic Games in PyeongChang 2018. He also claimed the Bronze in the World Championships in Seefeld 2019 at the 15 km Classic.
      Niskanen often starts in Skiathlon events as well, but he could also gamble to skip it, as his chances for Gold in the Classic event would most likely increase, compared to the other favorites competing in both the Skiathlon and the Sprint in front of this race.
      He will have the advantage of the rest while his main opponents will participate in the Sprint event 3 days before though, and at odds 4, Niskanen will be my main pick here.

      Norway have many skiiers fighting for few spot at this distance, Emil Iversen, Simen Hegstad Kruger, Pal Golberg, Sjur Rothe, Hans Chr Holund, Erik Valnes..and the list goes on. Several of these are medal candidates on a good day, and possible gold medalists on a perfect day, if they manage to get one of the few starting positions in the first place.

      Russias strongest Classic skiier has been Alexander Bolshunov the latest years, but Alexey Chervotkin is not that far behind in top form.
      Chervotkin ended 2nd at the 15 km Classic in Ruka `20, 15 sec behind Klabo and 3 sec ahead of Bolshunov.
      He also ended 3rd at the 15 km Classic Mass Start in Val di Fiemme during Tour De Ski 2021, 3 sec after Bolshunov (with no Norwegians participating).
      At the World Championships in Oberstdorf 2021, Chervotkin outclassed all competitors for Russia at the 1st leg (10 km Classic) of the Mens Relay, and had a 0:44 min gap on Finland, and 0:56 min lead on Pal Golberg and the big favorites Norway.
      If Klabo skips this distance, and Bolshunov either skips, or will be a bit reduced after two tough events ahead of this race, Chervotkin is one of many outsiders capable of claiming a medal at the 15 km Classic.

      Pick: Iivo Niskanen (Finland) to win, 6/10 stakes, odds [email protected]
      Pick: Alexey Chervotkin (Russia) to end top 3, 4/10 stakes, odds [email protected]

      Good luck!

      Last edited by mightye; 24-11-21, 12:22.

      Comment


        #4
        As a follow up to the pick above, I will add some more units to both Niskanen (to win) and Chervotkin (to end top 3, and claim a medal) stakes for the 15 km Classic.
        Both skiiers met at the 15 km Classic in Muonio, Finland today, and Niskanen won closely, 5 sec in front of Chervotkin.
        No Bolshunov in the field, and also most Norwegians and Swedish skiiers did not perform here, but both skiiers showed promising signs now 3 months in front of their big goal, and with some good planning and no major injuries, these two should have good chances at this distance at their best.

        Pick: Iivo Niskanen (Finland) to win, 2/10 stakes, odds [email protected]
        Pick: Alexey Chervotkin (Russia) to win, 2/10 stakes, odds [email protected]
        Pick: Alexey Chervotkin (Russia) to end top 3, 6/10 stakes, odds [email protected]

        Good luck!

        Comment


          #5
          Tuesday 08.02.2022 - Womens Sprint (Free Technique):

          Winter Olympics Beijing 2022 - Cross-Country Skiing

          Zhangjiakou Zone - National Cross-Country Skiing Centre

          Event start: 09:00 CET (16:00 Local time)

          Info: For the Sprint events, the 30 best skiiers advance from the Qual into the QF, SF, Finals stage.

          The Womens Sprints have been dominated by the Swedish side the latest seasons.
          The Gold medalist from the Classic Sprint in the Olympic Games in PyeongChang 2018, and Silver medalist from the Free Technique Sprint in the World Championships in Seefeld 2019, Stina Nilsson, is now participating in Biathlon, and will not start here.

          Jonna Sundling won the Classic Sprint in the World Championships in Oberstdorf 2021 in front of Maiken Caspersen Falla and Anamarija Lampic. She ended 4th in the Free Technique Sprint behind Falla, Nilsson and Mari Eide in the World Championships in Seefeld 2019.
          Sundling got injured last weekend in the Womens Sprints in Gallivare, and is expected out for 4 weeks.
          This means all races in front of Tour De Ski will most likely be missed, and then the Olympic Sprint will be only 2 months ahead.
          Sundling should be rated as a favorite in doubt if she reaches back in form for the Olympics, and even though her max performance can reach gold, it will be a very tough job to get at that level with this badly timed injury 3 months in front.

          Linn Svahn had 4 Sprint wins in a row (Classic/Free Technique) in the 2020/21 season, and won most of them with ease. She would normally be the clear favorite in such an event, but the injury problems ruined her World Championships ambitions then, and unfortunatly she will be out also for the Beijing Olympics.

          Maiken Caspersen Falla got a Bronze in the Classic Sprint in the World Championships in Val di Fiemme 2013, she won the Gold medal in the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014, she got a Bronze in the Classic Sprint in the World Championships in Falun 2015, she won the Gold medal in the Free Technique Sprint in the World Championships in Lahti 2017, she got the Silver medal in the Classic Sprint in the Olympic Games in PyeongChang 2018, she won the gold medal in the Free Technique Sprint in the World Championships in Seefeld 2019, and she got the Silver medal in the Classic Sprint in the World Championships in Oberstdorf in 2021.
          Even though Falla managed to claim the Silver in the World Championships last season, Falla struggled much more than usual to reach her top form, and Unibet offer 7.00 for Falla to claim a 8th straight medal in a major Sprint (World Championships or Olympics).

          With Svahn and Sundling out, the World Champion in Team Sprint, Maja Dahlqvist, will be among the clear favorites to win the opening Sprints in the World Cup this season. She won the Free Technique Sprint in Ulricehamn last season, and she ended 2nd twice in Ruka and Val Di Fiemme.
          I believe Dahlqvist will perform well in the opening Sprints this season, and she defeated Sundling 4 times last season + in the pre-season in Bruksvallarna. Without injuries or sickness, I feel Dahlqvist has a great chance to build the form needed to be at her best in Beijing, and then 7 for a win is worth a early bet imo.

          Anamarija Lampic will be a clear medal candidate in top form at the Olympics, she can follow pretty much anyones speed, but I believe Dahlqvist in top form will have a higher max speed when it really matters.

          Maiken Caspersen Falla at odds 23 will also get a couple of Units, doubtful form, but her max capasity at Sprints is worth a small cover (7 straight medals in World Championships Sprints, Olympic Sprints)

          Pick: Maja Dahlqvist (Sweden) to win, 8/10 stakes, odds [email protected]
          Pick: Maiken Caspersen Falla (Norway) to win, 2/10 stakes, odds [email protected]

          Good luck!

          Comment


            #6
            Wednesday 16.02.2022 - Womens Team Sprint (Classic):

            Winter Olympics Beijing 2022 - Cross-Country Skiing

            Zhangjiakou Zone - National Cross-Country Skiing Centre

            Event start: 12:00 CET (19:00 Local time)

            The Womens Team Sprint events have been dominated by Sweden the latest years, two straight World Championships have been won (Seefeld 2019, Oberstdorf 2021), and they ended 2nd in the PyeongChang Olympics in 2018.
            Maja Dahlqvist have won gold medals in both the two latest Team Sprints in the World Championships, and she proved that her form is still intact when she won the Classic Sprint in the season opener in Ruka with ease.
            Dahlqvist won the Team Sprint gold medal with Jonna Sundling in Oberstdorf 2021, and Sundling also won the gold in the Classic Sprint then.
            Sundling got injured one week ago, and will most likely have to rest her hand for 3 more weeks, before she can get back to her preparations for the Olympics. If she reaches top form in time, they will be very hard to defeat again.
            Frida Karlsson showed that she is capable of defeating Therese Johaug at her best at distance races in Ruka, and she impressed when she made it to the final in Classic Sprint.
            She stated that she wanted to compete at Classic Sprint in Ruka, because of the possibilty to participate in Team Sprint in the Olympics. That would have been a very good alternative for Team Sweden.
            Add that Johanna Hagstrom ended 2nd behind Dahlqvist in Ruka, and she would be a gold favorite team member as well imo.

            Norway are rated the closest candidates for the gold, and while I do believe Maiken Caspersen Falla can surprise and fight in the top in the Classic Sprint, I believe it will be hard to defeat the Swedish team here.
            The Weng twins, Ane Stenseth and Anna Svendsen are all competing for a spot in this team, and Tiril Udnes Weng and Falla ended 6th in the World Championships in Oberstdorf 2021, 0:18 min behind Dahlqvist/Sundling.
            Norway can claim medals, but Switzerland, Slovenia, Russia and USA ended in front of Norway in Oberstdorf, and Finland and Germany are on the rise now in the start of the season.

            The Germans Victoria Carl and Katarina Hennig both proved solid form at the Classic distance race in Ruka, while Laura Gimmler won a Classic Sprint during pre-season two weeks ago. Big outsiders.

            Finlands Krista Parmakoski and new rising talent Johanna Matintalo can absolutely get a good result with some more progress before the big event. Kerttu Niskanen also showed good Classic form in the opening weekend.

            The Russians didnt impress in the opening weekend in Ruka, but be sure they will be close to top form for the Olympics.
            Stupak/Nepryaeva have been their main Team Sprint duo lately, and at their best, they will fight in the top here.
            Tatiana Sorina can also be a good alternative in a Classic Team Sprint.

            Sweden have lost Sprint star Stina Nilsson (now competing in Biathlon) since the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics, and one of the best Sprinters last season, Linn Svahn, is (most likely) out for the rest of the season.
            The World Champion from the Classic Sprint in Oberstdorf 2021, Jonna Sundling may reach top form just in time for the Olympics, but is small doubt.
            Still Sweden is my clear favorite to win this event. The odds 2.20 isnt great, but it will most likely drop to under 2.00 before the event, unless more sickness/injuries occur.

            Pick: Sweden, 4/10 stakes, odds [email protected]
            Pick: Sweden, 6/10 stakes, odds [email protected]

            Good luck!





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