Norway’s Therese Johaug has returned to making the kind of headlines she hoped to make when she first started her career in cross-country ski racing, winning her third individual world title of the 2019 Nordic World Ski Championships.
Johaug made her return to racing this season after serving an 18-month suspension after she tested positive for a banned substance in 2016. The blemish of the suspension will always loom over Johaug’s career, but the Norwegian is clearly focused on the future, and making up for lost time.
“My goal and my dream was to take one gold medal and now I have three and one silver,” Johaug said after the race. “I cannot believe what these championships have been.”
She returned to the top of the women’s 30km mass start world championship podium for the third time in her career, crossing the finish line with a time of 1 hour 14 minutes 26.2 seconds. Johaug also owns world titles in the mass start from 2011 and 2015.
Johaug led from the start and never looked back, crossing the finish line more than 30 seconds ahead of her best friend, and silver medalist, Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg.
“I felt really good today,” Johaug said. “I wanted to go fast from the beginning…then I just go as fast as I could all the way.”
Sweden’s 19-year-old Frida Karlsson rounded out the world championship podium taking the bronze.
The U.S.’ Jessie Diggins posted her best individual finish at these world championships, finishing just over a minute behind Karlsson, in fourth.