India’s Jagdish Singh finished 103rd out of 119 athletes who took part in the men’s 15 km free cross-country skiing race at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Friday. This was the 26-year-old Indian’s first Winter Olympics campaign.
Singh crossed the finish line with a time of 43 minutes and 0.3 seconds, which was nine minutes and 16.4 seconds slower than Switzerland’s Dario Cologna, who took his third straight Olympic gold with a time of 33:43.9.
Norway’s Simen Krueger won the silver while Denis Spitsov, an Olympic Athlete from Russia, took home the bronze.
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1.38 pm: Here are the three medalists again: Dario Cologna, Simen Krueger and Denis Spitsov:
1.32 pm: Jagdish Singh has finished his first Olympic race at 103rd position. Considering what he has been through to get to Pyeongchang, it’s a great achievement. Out of 119 starters, only three did not finish.
1.30 pm: The 43-year-old German Madrazo crosses the finish line last but that hardly matters, does it! He picked up the Mexican flag from a spectator a few metres off the finish line and then glided through to the end, drawing loud cheers! What a story!
1.24 pm: Taufatofua finishes 115th to loud cheers from the crowd at the finish line! We’re almost done with the entire pack now.
1.18 pm: Tonga’s now famous Pita Taufatofua, who attended the Pyeongchang opening ceremony topless, has thankfully decided to wear some clothes for his race:
1.15 pm: Here are Jagdish’s lap times:
1.13 pm: Jagdish Singh has crossed the finish line with a time of 43:00.3, which is more than nine minutes slower than the leader. He is currently in 104th position but that position could change.
1.09 pm: Jagdish Singh has just crossed the 13.5 km mark at 39:02.4, which is eight-and-a-half minutes off the leader. He’s almost home.
12.58 pm: Here are the first pictures of Jagdish. He has crossed the 9.8 km mark at 28:03.5, which is more than six minutes off the leader.
12.53 pm: Here’s Mexico’s German Madrazo, who is only 43 years old – the oldest competitor in this race! He began skiing just two years ago. Nothing is impossible, folks!
12.50 pm: Jagdish Singh crossed the 6 km mark at 17:03.6, which is 3:40.4 off the leader. He then crossed the halfway mark at 20:46.6, which was 4:28.6 off the leader.
12.48 pm: Dario Cologna, the Swiss athlete of the year and the flag bearer at the Pyeongchang opening ceremony, can’t believe he is a three-time Olympic champion!
12.45 pm: Jagdish Singh has started his race and he has crossed the 1.5 km mark at 3:55.0, which is almost 40 seconds off the leader’s mark.
12.42 pm: The race is not over yet but Dario Cologna, Simen Krueger and Denis Spitsov are all but guaranteed to take home the medals. They’re already celebrating!
12.40 pm: Reigning Olympic champion Dario Cologna of Switzerland has just breached the 33-second mark to take the gold medal position with a timing of 33:43.9! Cologna was the gold medallist in 2010 and 2014 and it’s going to take quite an effort to prevent him from bagging a hat-trick!
12.35 pm: Norway’s Simen Krueger has just beaten Spitsov’s timing by 4.7 seconds – 34:02.2. He’s currently in gold medal position but nothing’s over yet!
12.32 pm: Spitsov, 21, is almost 16 seconds faster than his nearest competitor so far:
12.29 pm: Denis Spitsov, who is an Olympic Athlete from Russia, has just taken the lead with a finish time of 34:06.9.
12.18 pm: Switzerland’s Roman Furger has just crossed the finish line more than one minute faster than the previous leader, Ales Razym, with a time of 34:56.3!
12.14 pm: Eight of the skiers have now crossed the finish line and here is how the leaderboard looks so far, with the Czech Republic’s Ales Razym being the fastest so far:
12.10 pm: All the seeded skiers are now on the track, even as the first starter Novak crosses the 13.5 km checkpoint at 36:42.4.
11.50 am: The first 40 out of 119 skiers have begun their race and this is how the leaderboard looks like so far. The seeded skiers are still to begin.
11.38 am: Novak passes the 1.5 km checkpoint with a time of 3:28:30.
11.31 am: And we’re off as the Czech Republic’s Michal Novak kickstarts the race.
11.30 am: In cross-country skiing, athletes have to glide across a 15km-long path on a snow-covered field in the shortest possible time. The track has uphill, level, and downhill fields.
It’s almost time to go!
11.25 am: There are four laps of 3.75 km each in the 15km-long race. The weather currently is quite decent, with temperatures of -1ºC and a wind speed of 7 kph.
11.20 am: FYI, this is how the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre in Pyeongchang looks like 10 minutes before the race is set to begin:
11.15 am: The Field recently spoke to Jagdish Singh and his coach Nadeem Iqbal, who had represented India at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. After listening to their tale, it’s quite amazing that they have even managed to reach Pyeongchang.
Sample this: Jagdish did not have a proper racing suit and equipment two days prior to the race. He bought equipment and gear worth Rs 72,000 in Pyeongchang and doesn’t know whether he will be reimbursed for it. Here’s the story.
11 am: Hello and welcome to The Field’s live blog for the men’s 15km free cross-country skiing race at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, where India’s Jagdish Singh is among 119 participants.
The 26-year-old Indian, who took up skiing only in 2011 after joining the High-Altitude Army Warfare School in Gulmarg, is participating in his first ever Winter Olympics campaign.
Starting at 15:00:30 local time (11:30:30 IST), each participant will begin the race at intervals of 30 seconds from one another. The top three skiers who finish the 15km race in the shortest possible time will win the medals.
Singh is slotted to start 116th out of 119 participants, at 15:58:00 local time (12.28 pm IST), so there’s still a fair bit of time to go but we’ll keep you updated with how the rest of the participants are doing.