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Russian skier Alexander Bolshunov wins his first World Championship

He brings first medal to Russia at FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Oberstdorf
Alexander Bolshunov EPA-EFE/GIAN EHRENZELLER
Alexander Bolshunov
© EPA-EFE/GIAN EHRENZELLER

OBERSTDORF /Germany/, February 27. /TASS/. Russian skier Alexander Bolshunov has taken a victory in skiathlon at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2021 held in Oberstdorf, Germany.

Bolshunov came first in the men’s 2·15 km skiathlon (1:11:33.9) on Saturday, edging Norway’s Simen Hegstad Krueger (+1.1 seconds). Norwegian Hans Christer Holund was third (+1.7).

Last time Russian skiers took gold in the world tournaments in 2017, when Sergei Ustiugov was first in skiathlon and when he and Nikita Kryukov won in the team sprint.

Bolshunov, 24, won his world champion title, as before he had taken four world silver medals. He has also grabbed three silver medals and one bronze medal at the Olympics.

Bolshunov earned the first medal for the team of Russia at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2021. Norway tops the standings with three gold, four silver and four bronze medals, followed by Slovenia and Sweden, which have one gold, one silver and one bronze each. Russia ranks fourth in the standings table.

Russian athletes in Cross-Country Skiing, Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined competitions are participating in the World Championships in Oberstdorf under the flag of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and in the team’s status of the Russian Ski Federation (RSF).

The 42nd edition of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships is hosted by Oberstdorf between February 24 and March 7, 2021. It is the third time for Oberstdorf to host the world championships, with the previous editions organized in 1987 and 2005.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland’s Lausanne upheld on December 17 WADA’s [the World Anti-Doping Agency] previous ruling on a number of sanctions against Russian sports.

According to the CAS decision as of December 17, 2020, Russian athletes were deprived of their right to participate in all World Championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games under the national flag of Russia for the two-year period.

The national anthem of Russia was also ruled out to be played at international sport tournaments in the course of the next two years, including at the upcoming Olympic Games in Japan this year.

The ruling of the Swiss-based court also stripped Russia of the right to bid for the organization of all international sports tournaments for the period of two years. WADA’s sanctions will be in force until December 2022.