Saku Suverull 2008 got underway on Saturday on the roller-skiing track of Tehvandi sports centre. The first event of Estonian summer highlight was sprint race in classical tehnique according to World Cup format. Justyna Kowalczyk oversprinted Russian girls and Virpi Kuitunen at the finish straight of Final A and took the first place. Nikolai Morilov and Andrey Parfenov managed to be ahead of Jens Arne Svartedal during decisive sprint and Morilov was the winner.
Kuitunen was fastest at the 1,1 km qualification and moved smoothly to the Final A. There was still some lack of speed for World Cup Overall winner from the last winter to be on the podium. Kowalczyk started to push first and nobody challenged. Last year Saku Suverull winner Natalia Matveeva was second and Evgenia Shapovalova third.
“The win was very important for me because one of my goals for next season is to impove in sprint a lot. Virpi was clear favourite, but we were better on finish straight. It was quite a pleasure to beat also Russian girls. I heard that they have done some special training before this event,” Kowalczyk said.
Three Estonias were at the top after qualification, but the best one, Kein Einaste broke the pole and finished at 5th place during Final A. Svartedal was impressive at quarterfinals and semifinals, but Morilov and Parfenov dominated at the final. “ We took advantage of team tactics and Svartedal was unable to took over. It is always pleasure to beat regaining World Champion from Norway, “ Morilov said.