TEAM IRELAND BEIJING - THOMAS MALONEY WESTGAARD 14TH 15KM CLASSIC

14th FOR THOMAS MALONEY WESTGAARD IN 15KM CLASSIC

It was another good day for Team Ireland at the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, with a fantastic fourteenth place for Thomas Maloney Westgaard in the Cross-Country Skiing 15km Classic. Competing in his second Olympics, the 26 year-old had been targeting a top fifteen result in this event on the back of solid performances over the past few years, and finished in a time of 40:01.5, just 2:06.7 behind the winner Iivo Niskanen from Finland. Also in action was Tess Arbez, who finished 42nd in the Super-G, in a time of 1:25.18.

The 15km Classic is a time-trial competition, with athletes starting in 30 second intervals and competing over two laps of a 7.5km circuit. Ninety-nine athletes contested today’s men’s race, with Maloney Westgaard wearing bib 24. Crossing the line, the Irish man was the fastest out of the early finishers and had a long wait to see where his overall standing would be.

Racing his best race in over a year, a delighted Maloney Westgaard said,

“The main goal was to do two quite even laps. I knew it was going to be one of the toughest races, with nearly 600m of total climbing. So I tried to pace it really well and I started quite safe and I wasn’t too stressed, even though I heard I was a bit too far off.  I tried to go good technically and just improve over the race and, yeah, I just felt better and better and the feedback was better and better.

“It was just fantastic especially with the season I’ve had. It hasn’t really gone my way so far, and to pull off the best race I’ve done in a year with the preparations I’ve had. With Covid, without even knowing if I would reach the Olympics. Yeah, to prepare for a course like this with everything I’ve had, it’s unbelievable, it's just fantastic.”

In the Super-G Arbez was really pleased with her closing race of her second Olympic Games, saying,

It was a really fun race, I really enjoyed it. It was really great to feel the speed of the long skis. I wish I could do one more now but it’s over. I think I could be a little be faster, straighter on the gates, keeping a little bit more of the speed position. But I’m happy to finish because it is the first time and Irish girl to ride the speed event, it was easier than I thought.”

Tomorrow is a rest day for Team Ireland, with next competition taking place on the 13th February with Jack Gower in the Giant Slalom.

RESULTS:

Men’s Cross-Country 15km Classic

Gold – Iivo Niskanen (FIN) 37:54.8

Silver – Alexander Bolshunov (ROC) 38:18.0 (+23.2)

Bronze – Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (NOR) 38:32.3 (+37.5)

14thThomas Maloney Westgaard (IRL)  40:01.5 (+2.06.7)

Alpine Super-G

Gold – Lara Gut-Behrami (SUI) 1:13.51

Silver – Mirjam Puchner (AUT) 1:13.73 (+0.22)

Bronze – Michelle Gisin (SUI) 1:13.81 (+0.30)

42ndTess Arbez (IRL) 1:25.18 (+11.67)

SCHEDULE 12 FEBRUARY

NO IRISH

SCHEDULE 13 FEBRUARY

02:15 Jack Gower, Alpine Skiing, Giant Slalom Run 1

05:45 Jack Gower, Alpine Skiing, Giant Slalom Run 2

For full schedules, results and information on Team Ireland head to www.olympics.ie, and

DOWNLOAD THE TEAM IRELAND MEDIA GUIDE HERE

The updated schedule for Team Ireland in Beijing 2022 can be found HERE.

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