Kern Leads Three Americans Into Top 10 at U23 World Championships
Julia Kern just missed her second medal of the 2020 FIS U23 Cross Country World Championships, finishing fourth in the 10k classic in Oberwiesenthal, Germany, Monday. Hailey Swirbul was seventh. In the men’s 15k classic, Hunter Wonders was the top American in eighth.
Snow, wind, and fog provided challenging conditions for the athletes and the ski techs Tuesday, but once again, the staff and athletes rose to the occasion and battled the competition and the elements.
“The conditions were definitely challenging today and our wax team absolutely crushed it!” Julia said. “They had all of the kick options covered and made ripping fast skis. I always love the gritty weather days because I feel like it gives me an advantage since I like skiing in tricky conditions.”
Sweden took the gold and bronze with Ebba Anderssen taking the win and teammate Emma Ribon in third. Norway’s Marte Johansen took the silver. Julia finished just 7.8 seconds off the podium. For the men, Russia’s Sergey Ardashev won the gold, Norway’s Harald Amundsen took the silver, and Hugo Lapalus of France took the bronze.
The U23 and Junior Cross Country World Championships continue Wednesday with a 15k mass-start freestyle for the women, and a 30k mass-start freestyle for the men. Thursday, the U23 women race a 15k mass-start freestyle, and the men will race a 30k mass-start freestyle.
After recovering from a mid-season leg injury and a strong showing at Ski Tour 2020, Julia is finishing season strong at the U23 World Champs, and she’s looking forward to carrying her form into the final couple day of competition, and then into the final World Cup races of the season in Quebec City, Minneapolis and Canmore, Alberta.
“My form is feeling really good after all of the racing from the Ski Tour 2020,” Julia said, “and I have been really excited about the energy the team has had here in Oberwiesenthal!”
On Friday, Ben Ogden, Gus Schumacher, Johnny Hagenbuch, and Luke Jager look to defend their 4x5k World Championship title in the team relay.
All races are streaming live on the official 2020 FIS Junior and U23 Cross Country World Championships Facebook page.