Musgrave sets sights on medal after historic seventh in men's skiathlon
Cross Country Skiing

Musgrave sets sights on medal after historic seventh in men's skiathlon

11 February 2018 / 09:49

It is a sign of the self-belief possessed by Andrew Musgrave that despite registering Great Britain's best-ever result by a cross-country skier at an Olympic Games, he could still be disappointed.

Competing in temperates of -16 degrees celsius at the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre, Musgrave defied the cold to storm to an impressive seventh-place in the men's 30km skiathlon.

He was right in the mix throughout, completing the opening 15km leg in 12th place before stepping it up over the second freestyle leg.

AndrewMusgraveskiathlon

The 27-year-old - who trains out in Norway, the nation regarded as the home of cross-country skiing – then continued to raise hopes of a historic medal when he began the last lap in second place.

His exertions would eventually catch up with him during the closing kilometres as Simen Hegstad Krueger crossed first to lead a Norwegian clean sweep of the podium.

Musgrave was left to rue what might have been but quickly stressed his best chance for a medal would come in Friday's 15km free event.

“It's a decent result but I'm not at the Olympics to come seventh. I'm here to fight for a win. That's why I do this,” he said.

“I'm a little disappointed, I felt really good. I felt awesome with about a lap and a half to go and I felt that I would be in the fight for the victory. I just ended up going a little bit too hard on the last lap.

“After that, until about 2km to go, I was still thinking I could be in the fight for silver and bronze but the second to last hill, I just realised my legs were a little bit heavy and I didn't quite have enough in the tank.”

“It does give me a bit of confidence. The 15km should be my best event.

“I was in the fight for the medals here until the last couple of kilometres. So when this isn't my best, come Friday I should be in the fight for the victory.”

Musgrave was joined on the course by fellow Brit Callum Smith who recorded a personal-best performance at his second Olympic Games, placing 57th.

That was all the more impressive considering the 25 year-old was caught up in a crash in the early stages on the race.

Smith will also go in Friday's 15km free alongside Musgrave, and he had nothing but praise for his history-making teammate.

“It's a brilliant result for Andrew. He's probably a little bit disappointed but I think it shows that on Friday he is hopefully capable of a medal. It would be massive,” he said.

“Unfortunately I got brought down in a crash on the first lap which was a bit frustrating but I felt I skied really well later on to bring a few places back.

“For sure, I lost some positions. It was so tight. I lost the group and I was having to work really hard into the wind to try and get back to where I was.

“Generally I'm happy with where my form is now and I'm looking forward to Friday. I think I can do a good race there.”

Sportsbeat 2018