First medals won in JWSC21 in Vuokatti (FIN) – Monika Skinder (POL) and Niilo Moilanen (FIN) the first World Champions

© JWSC2021/Tomi Mäkipää

The Cross-Country events of FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships 2021 were kicked of today in Vuokatti (FIN) in cold, sunny weather. The challenging sprint course in Vuokatti made sure that the athletes were not going to get off easy in today’s fight towards the first medals of the JWSC 2021.

Women’s race was dominated by the strong Polish team, when Monika Skinder became the first World Champion of the competitions and teammate Karolina Kaleta took the bronze medal. Silver medal went to Sweden’s Moa Hansson after a tight finish between the second and third place.

Skinder, who took silver in Lahti 2019 also in classic sprint, was really happy about her victory but also about the two medals coming to Poland: “It is a great day for Poland, and I am very happy that both me and Karolina got medals. I felt really good today and the whole day was amazing. We have had hard trainings and special training planned by the coaches and right now we have two medals so seems like the training has been pretty good.”

Sweden’s Moa Hansson was also happy that the hard training is paying off: “I have been preparing for these races the whole year so it is nice that it went well today. It has been a really good day with good tracks and nice weather and I think we had hard and fair competitions today.”

Bronze medalist Karolina Kaleta gave some honor from the two medals also to the wax techs: “Our skis were perfect today! We came here seven days ago, and we have trained on the competition courses all the time. Seems like our preparation has been really good.”

© JWSC2021/Tomi Mäkipää

On the men’s event, home team Finland got to celebrate the first ever U20 Men’s sprint Gold Medal in JWSC competitions when Niilo Moilanen took home the victory. 

“It has been amazing day. When I woke up this morning, I thought that it might be a good day. My shape has felt good for a while now and today everything was perfect starting from the qualification. Also my skis were amazing and this is a dream come true.”

Other medals were also won by Scandinavians when Norway’s Lars Agnar Hjelmeset took the silver and Sweden’s Emil Danielson took the Bronze.

Hjelmeset was happy about the day and also liked the big uphill in the sprint course: “The whole day has been great, and the conditions are really good. The biggest uphill of the course is also really nice! Usually, the sprint is the worst race for me so I’m really looking forward to the distance races.”

Emil Danielsson: “I felt strong the whole day and the whole team Sweden had a good day today. We had a pre camp in Sweden and got here last Sunday. We have been trying to chill and prepare to the competitions as good as we can.”

Women | Men

© JWSC2021/Tomi Mäkipää