What is sheer willpower

"That was pure willpower"

Mora / Sweden - After a dramatic final spurt, Swede Oskar Svärd won the 79th Wasalauf razor-thin on Sunday. He won the 90 km ski marathon from Sälen to Mora after 3:58:23 hours with just a second advantage over the Norwegian Jörgen Aukland, who had been in the lead for a long time. Third placed Czech Stanislav Rezac was another second behind.

"It was pure willpower," said Svärd after winning this traditional, classic-style competition with one ski length. "Something like that is bitter," admitted Aukland, who complained about the lack of support from his rivals over the last ten kilometers. He would have been the first Norwegian since 1971 (Ole Ellefsäter) to beat the series winners from Sweden.

In the women’s category, Sweden also won. Ulrica Persson completed the marathon in 4:32:57 hours, her second-placed compatriot Sofia Lind was already over ten minutes behind. Third place went to Russian Swetlana Frizen.

Walter Mayer, currently Nordic sports director of the ÖSV, won the Wasalauf in 1980 and finished second in 1992. (APA / dpa / SIZ)

Results 79th Wasalauf from Sälen to Mora (90 km):

  • Men: 1st Oskar Svärd (SWE) 3:58:23 - 2nd Jörgen Aukland (NOR) 0:01 back - 3rd Stanislav Rezac (CZE) 0:02 back - 4th Mattias Svahn (SWE) 0:46
  • Women: 1st Ulrica Persson (SWE) 4:32:57 - 2nd Sofia Lind (SWE) 10:05 - 3rd Swetlana Frizen (RUS) 21:03