Winner of MOM-2023 Sara Hagström wins the WORLD CUP middle!
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Winner of MOM-2023 Sara Hagström wins the WORLD CUP middle!

and gives an interview about her experience there.

Hi Sara! Congratulations with the GOLD medal at the World Cup in Norway! We have couple of questions for you!

  1. It was very stable and highly professional run during the middle for you! You almost haven´t lost anything during the race, at least there is no splits with more than 20 sec lost comparing to the best times at a leg. How did you feel before, during and after the race?

SH: Before I felt quite calm, knowing the shape was good and that I could rely in my technique. During the race I was not stressed at all, felt I had all the faith in the map and tried to not think about the result. When I finished I was really happy because it was a really good performance and when I won I was even more happy because I thought I got two free cards to WOC long and middle as current world cup leader. I got quite sad when I heard IOF took away that rule this year. So a mix of feelings after the race.

  1. On the way to the first control you went a lot to the right before crossing the bottom with a watercourse, and you have best time there (together with Tove), was it your plan to avoid all cliffs from the right? (See the picture below)

SH: Yes it was my plan to avoid the steeper part. I went a bit more right than I planned but I found a good line there.

  1. There is only one control where you lost 20sec at split, and it is the leg 5-6, you went a bit too right and slowed down at the cliff in the green. Was this a plan or just you went right by accident? (See the picture below)

SH: That was an accident. I didn’t have time to read the map before the leg since the control before was a bit downhill.

  1. 5th control was difficult one, the cliff is rotated out from the view of runner. If I remember right, the control 5 was also filmed by cameras, did you feel extra pressure at that moment?

SH: No, I found a good line in the forest from other runners. I also had a good flow just thinking about the map.

  1. At the long leg you chose to go almost completely straight (and it was great choice!), could you comment your route choice? Why did you prefer it against the right route a little around? (See the picture below)

SH: I had from WOC 2019 training and analysis realised that to push to be as straight under the line as possible is a good tactic in Østfold since you always know where you are and it’s shorter way in the tough terrain.

I know it’s hard to from the map see where it’s good runnability and then its best to just go as short as possible.

  1. At long you were just less than a minute behind, taking silver. It was stunning performance! How did you feel about that? Did it help you to perform even better at middle?

SH: I was surprised and happy about the long distance. It was for sure a receipt on a good winter and good tactic in how to run in Østfold. It helped for sure to lower the shoulders before the middle.

  1. At the relay things didn´t go so well at the 2nd leg, how did you feel before the start? How did those feelings affect your performance at the relay?

SH: It’s always hard with relay when you don’t know what to expect. I was quite sure to have a start in the fight about top 3, so I was a bit surprised about starting a bit behind. I still tried to focus on the map as if it was fight about the top 3. It is hard to not let the feelings affect the performance but my aim is always to go back to the map when thinking about other things.

Thank you, Sara, for your answers and good luck in future! 
SH: Thanks you too!

Interviewer: Svetlana Mironova
Photo: Snorre Veggan

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