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National team manager Anders Byström does not want to return to the Olympic tracks

Ebba Andersson has just soloed for 20 km in the hunt for a bronze medal of 30 kilometers. On the way into the ski stadium, she was chased and ended up as a disappointed eight.

– It is brutal what is happening. Terrible. I still think she manages the race smartly. At the top of the last mountain it was 25 seconds to the cluster behind and then I thought that this should be possible. But those who hunt in the group have the advantage of going together and then the quarry is eaten, says Anders Byström.

The result of the Olympics in Beijing is the worst for Swedish cross-country skiing since in Salt Lake City in 2002.

– We do not think so, but we had hoped for more medals. We are not happy with four medals. We have had a lot of fourth, fifth and sixth places, but they do not count in an Olympics, says Anders Byström.

– There are some skiers who have not found the shape. At the same time, there are some others who have been in really good shape. Perhaps his best ever, like Jonna Sundling and William Poromaa. So it is difficult to draw any general conclusion about topping. And when it comes to height, we have been to three high-altitude camps and all have been acclimatized here, the national team manager continues.

He says that the distance races for ladies became a miscalculation.

– Frida (Karlsson) has not found the right thing. Ebba (Andersson) has been close and got this bang today. There we had wanted medals. But the guys have been a little better than you could ask for.

And then it is these conditions that exist here, he reasons. There is no one who has been able to prepare for how it would be exactly.

– I do not want to come back here in any case, says Anders Byström. It is possible to evaluate all this, but we may not face such conditions again.

– They will surely want more ski championships here, when they have built such a nice facility. But the place itself is a bit awkward, at least at this time of year. Maybe it’s nice another time of year.

It will be up to the International Ski Federation to decide whether a World Cup will be held in the future in Zhangjiakou, 180 km northwest of Beijing.

It will be something completely different in the next Olympics in Milan and Cortina 2026, Anders Byström thinks

– I am happy that we are in Europe then and hope that we can get some audience and atmosphere again.

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