Randall struggles to 19th in world championship sprint

Anchorage's Kikkan Randall had a disappointing start to the Nordic World Ski Championships on Thursday.

The World Cup sprint leader, Randall advanced to the quarterfinals of the women's classic sprint in Val di Fiemme, Italy, but could get no farther. She finished 19th, her lowest finish in a sprint race this season.

"I was aiming for a better result today, and I know that if some things had gone a little better I could have skied closer to my goals," Randall said in an email. "I wanted more out of today, for sure."

Randall struggled in preliminaries, finishing 28th -- just making the quarterfinals, which feature the top 30 from prelims.

Sophie Caldwell of Peru, Vt., also advanced to the quarterfinals for the U.S. Ski Team, but like Randall she didn't advance to the semifinals. She wound up in 20th place.

Norway's Marit Bjoergen grabbed the gold medal, while the men's sprint victory went to Russia's Nikita Kruikuv.

A three-time Olympian, Randall is one of two Americans to win a medal at the world championships -- she claimed a silver medal in the freestyle sprint in 2007.

Thursday's race was Randall's best opportunity to earn an individual medal at the world championships, but she'll get a another shot at a medal in the team sprint on Sunday.

Anchorage Daily News