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7:10 PM, 21 June 2008

Kauppi won ice-cream and the World Cup

IMG_6203-0188.JPGMinna Kauppi had absolutely the best time on Saturday’s long distance course. The Finn beat yesterday’s winner, Anne Margete Hausken, in the final sprint, thereby winning both an ice-cream bet and a World Cup title.

- I made a bet with Pasi. If I won I’d get an ice-cream. If I didn’t win I’d have to buy him a beer, laughs Kauppi.

In spite of the fact that Kauppi beat Saturday’s next best time by three minutes she says that she took it easy at the start. Not until the 16th control did she catch up with a group of Swedish runners.

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- Then I notched up the pace and the others didn’t manage to keep up, says Kauppi. When she caught up with Hausken just before the public control a few short kilometres before the finish, then the running became somewhat nervous.

- Then we were running and watching each other, before making a mistake before the last control, says Kauppi. She and Hausken threw themselves into an eager discusion about the mistake just seconds after crossing the finish.

Hausken pleased with silver

With the exception of that last mistake, Friday’s winner, Anne Margrete Hausken, was pleased with the race.

- You can’t expect to keep the lead on such a long distance when you are running alone out in front, says Hausken, and reminds us that the three victories that have come one after the other the past weeks are not exactly everyday occurences.

- A second place is very good, she says. Arms were proudly raised in the air as the second step on the podium was occupied.

IMG_6125.JPGClose running for the Swedes

Whilst the next best Norwegian girls were at 9th, 10th and 12th place (Marianne Riddervold, Ingunn Hultgren Weltzien and Anne Marie Bleken), the Swedish girls were close together and high up on the result list. Helena Jansson, Lina Bäckström, Annika Billstam, Sofie Johansson and Emma Engstrand took from 3rd to 7th places.

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