First World Cup win for China

Shuangyan Hao achieved the first-ever World Cup victory for China today, with World Cup winner Tove Alexandersson, victorious in all the other World Cup races this season, finishing eighth after a big mistake early on. Jannick Michiels, Belgium won his second World Cup Sprint this season by just 2 seconds.

Simona Aebersold, Switzerland was the closest challenger to 31-year-old Hao, who first represented China 12 years ago and has 10th place in the Sprint in WOC 2009 as her previous personal best. Aebersold was only 7 seconds down in mid-race and was running faster than Hao, but a poor route choice towards the end meant that the final margin was 10 seconds. Sara Hagstrom, Sweden, ran a particularly fast second half of the course to take third place. For Tove Alexandersson this was the first defeat of the whole World Cup season; she lost almost a minute in the early stages and was 68th at the first TV control, and she lost a further 20 seconds later on.

Natalia Gemperle, vying with Aebersold for second place in the overall standings, had a nightmare of a race and finished 49th, so Aebersold takes second, 53 points ahead of Gemperle. The remaining prize-winning placings are 4th – Sabine Hauswirth, 5th – Elena Roos and 6th – Julia Jakob, so four Swiss runners in the top six – impressive!

Top three in the men’s race at the Flower Ceremony

The Chinese athlete Li ZhuoYe was the fastest in the men’s class until the very final stages, where he was just out-run to the finish by Michiels and by the French athlete Maxime Rauturier who was second. “I was focused on doing well in the later part of the season,” said Sprint specialist Michiels after the race. “Now I can look forward with more confidence to next year’s World Championships in Denmark.” World Cup winner Gustav Bergman made several mistakes and ended in 52nd place today.

The young Swiss athlete Joey Hadorn has profited most from his trip to China; fifth overall beforehand, he was 15th in today’s race and ends up second in the overall standings, 16 points ahead of his compatriot Daniel Hubmann. The next three places are taken by Olav Lundanes NOR (didn’t compete in China), Vojtech Kral CZE and Frederic Tranchand FRA. Matthias Kyburz SUI, fifth today, missed out on the prize-money by 3 points.

Overall World Cup 2019


  1. Tove Alexandersson SWE 735 points
  2. Simona Aebersold SUI 473
  3. Natalia Gemperle RUS 420
  4. Sabine Hauswirth SUI 337
  5. Elena Roos SUI 325
  6. Julia Jakob SUI 269


  1. Gustav Bergman SWE 499
  2. Joey Hadorn SUI 394
  3. Daniel Hubmann SUI 378
  4. Olav Lundanes NOR 370
  5. Vojtech Kral CZE 338
  6. Frederic Tranchand FRA 308


Leading results, Sprint


  1. Shuangyan Hao CHN 13:18
  2. Simona Aebersold SUI 13:28
  3. Sara Hagstrom SWE 13:34
  4. Julia Jakob SUI 13:47
  5. Tereza Janosikova CZE 13:49
  6. Sarina Jenzer SUI 13:57


  1. Yannick Michiels BEL 15:18
  2. Maxime Rauturier FRA 15:20
  3. Li ZhuoYe CHN 15:23
  4. Gaute Hallan Steiwer NOR 15:31
  5. Matthias Kyburz SUI 15:43
  6. Jonas Egger SUI 15:44