Swedish skiers took the top two spots in the women’s sprint free final on Tuesday night. In their Winter Olympics debut, Jonna Sundling and Maja Dahlqvist fought United States star Jessie Diggins to keep their hold on the field. Sundling raced to her first Olympic gold medal with a final time of 3:09.68 and led the field by a healthy margin. Dahlqvist followed close behind with 3:12.46.
Sweden has delivered athletes that have consistently been among the top 10-seeded athletes for each cross-country event so far at the 2022 Games. Although the women’s sprint free was the first time Swedish athletes found a spot on the podium, don't be surprised if they continue their streak in upcoming events.
A young Swedish squad will make its way into the women’s 10km on Thursday. Top contender Frida Karlsson of Sweden, who joined her teammates Sundling and Dahlqvist for her first Olympic appearance, has high hopes of also earning her first medal at the highest level of the sport.
Cross-country skiing has always come naturally to Sweden’s Karlsson and she confidently made her way to the top of the World Cup rankings this season. The 22-year-old jumped from 12th place in distance during the 2020-2021 season to No. 1 in distance a year later. In her first event at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Karlsson stepped onto the course for the women’s skiathlon and finished fifth, ahead of Diggins.
Sweden’s Ebba Andersson will join Karlsson in the 10km race to fight for another gold medal. Andersson is currently second overall in the World Cup this season. The 2022 Games marks Anderson’s second time competing at the highest level, after she walked away from PyeongChang with silver for her efforts in the women’s 4x5km relay. Not only is Anderson a huge threat on the course, but she also shares her experience as an elite skier with fellow skier Lisa Vinsa on her podcast “Between Heaven on Skiing.”
Norwegian skiers have proven to be one of the Swedes largest competitors at the Winter Games. The next time the two nations will meet again in another team event will be in the team sprint classical on Feb. 16 at 2:00 a.m. ET. Prior to the Olympics, Sundling and Dahlqvist led the Swedish team to glory in the team sprint by less than a second at the 2021 World Championships.
To see how competitors will match up against the Swedes, watch the women’s 10km on Feb. 10 at 2:00 a.m. E.T.