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.
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.
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)
14th – Thomas Maloney Westgaard (IRL) 40:01.5 (+2.06.7)
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)
42nd – Tess Arbez (IRL) 1:25.18 (+11.67)
SCHEDULE 12 FEBRUARY
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.olympicsdev.wpengine.com, and
The updated schedule for Team Ireland in Beijing 2022 can be found HERE.