Niggli enjoyed the race

Posted on | May 18, 2012 | Category: Arena

Two gold medals at two races – Simone Niggli seems to be at least as good as before. Photo: Erik Borg

“I enjoyed the race and had a wonderful time”, said Simone Niggli. Heard it before? Oh, yes. It is a sentence we’ve used to hear from her.

The Swiss phantom did again a great race and could shake hands with the public and smile on the last metres to the finish line. When she heard that she had a big lead before finishing she quickly took an extra look on the map: could she have missed something? But no, she was just that good.

“She is physically much stronger than any of us others”, says Annika Billstam, reigning World Champion on long distance. She finished today on a fifth place, over 7 minutes down to Niggli.

Already early in the race Simone had a big gap. “I ran carefully in the beginning and had control all the time. When it was easy I speeded up”, the winner says. In the the gap was exactly four minutes down to Tatiana Ryabkina from Russia on second place.

Minna Kauppi on third place was 4.34 minutes after the winner.  “I did a good race but the gap is big. I am still satisfied with my third place, because I have been ill all winter and thought for long I would not even be able to participate at the European Championships.”

The long distance was a real challenge. The course setter Eva Jurenikova had made a long and physically tough course with a lot of running up- and downhill.

Smiling Simone Niggli at the finish. This was her second victory in a row in the World Cup.
Photo: Erik Borg

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