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Diggins Fourth, Kern Eighth In Lahti Freestyle Sprint

By Tom Horrocks
February, 26 2022

Just six days after her historic silver-medal performance in the 30k freestyle at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games, Jessie Diggins was back on snow, finishing fourth in the FIS World Cup Cross Country Freestyle Sprint - leading four of her teammates into the top 28 in Lahti, Finland, Saturday.

Olympic gold medalist Jonna Sundling led a Swedish sweep of the podium with Emma Ribom in second and Maja Dahlqvist in third. Diggins's fourth-place result closed the gap on Russia’s overall World Cup leader Natalia Nepryaeva, who finished sixth. Diggins moved up to second in the overall World Cup standings, 209 points behind Nepryaeva.

Julia Kern was eighth, Rosie Brennan 13th, and Hailey Swirbul 28th. Both Diggins and Kern advanced to the semifinals, finishing 1-2 in the quarterfinal heat five. In the second semifinal, Diggins was second and Kern just missed advancing to the finals, finishing fourth.

“Today was a lot of fun,” Kern said. “The conditions were great, the stadium and course were filled with lively spectators and I was really excited to get back to racing the World Cup! I felt like I had a lot of great energy today, skied well, and enjoyed the awesome atmosphere while racing side-by-side with Jessie in the heats! I was stoked to put down maybe my best World Cup qualifier and see that my body is ready to fire after the Olympics.”

Up next, the women will compete in a 10k Classic, the men in a 15k Classic Sunday in Lahti.

Women’s Freestyle Sprint
Men’s Freestyle Sprint