Klaebo open to competing in World Sprint Series, would like to see it in London
Defending Cross-Country World Cup champion Johannes Klaebo has said that he would be interested in getting involved in the new World Sprint Series but he has not been asked yet.
The World Sprint Series is a new competition being organised by Swedish company SportKompaniet in a bid to liven up Cross-Country skiing as a sport.
The format will see six races in five different countries of just 100m, picking up on the SuperSprint event which began in Ostersund in 2017.
The idea is to bring a heightened level of excitement to cross-country skiing to try and increase audience figures for the sport as a whole.
“All the innovations that can make cross-country sports even more popular internationally is very positive.
“I would like to welcome the World Sprint Series and believe this can contribute positively to greater interest in the sport,
It would have been fun to try on one or more 100 meter sprints this winter, although I do not have high hopes that we as distance runners will be able to claim 100 meters sprint.
" I have not been asked to participate in the World Sprint Series, but if it can be combined with the World Cup calendar it would have been fun to try against the fastest guys in skiing in the world,"
“The World Cup calendar is pretty packed this season even without the Olympics or the World Cup. I think you should be open to testing new things in the sport - even when there is a championship, says Klæbo.”
The current areas chosen for the series are Ostersund, Dresden, Trentino, Oberammergau, Moscow and Hajfell but Klaebo has said he’d love to see it in big cities like New York or London in the future.
I think cross-country sports need formats and arenas that make us more attractive and entertaining to most people, and maybe especially international.
“We compete with many sports to get attention, and then cross-country sport is required to change.
" It is an exciting idea to compete in cities like New York or London. "
“The closest we come today is perhaps the classic sprint in the centre of Drammen.
The World Sprint Series will begin in Ostersund on November 9th with a prize pool of over one million Swedish krona.
The World Sprint series is a fascinating idea but only time will tell whether or not it can be a success or not.
Like most Winter Sports that aren't called Alpine Skiing cross-country skiing definitely needs a shot in the arm in terms of participation and short distance events could be the perfect antidote. They show consumers that anyone can get into the sport, you don't have to be an endurance expert.
Getting Klaebo, the undeniable superstar of the sport, is absolutely vital, his participation could take the event to the next level.