New skiing superpower? Chinese teen stuns Norwegian competition as Asian giant targets unlikely Olympic glory Chinese junior skier Dinigeer Yilamujiang caused a cross-country sensation at the World Cup stage in Gala, Norway, winning the women’s 5km freestyle race where she beat a number of home favorites.
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The 18-year-old talent clocked a time of 13 minutes 59.7 seconds to finish first, ahead of Elena Rise Johnsen and Tuva Anine Brusveen-Jensen who took silver and bronze respectively.
Dinigeer recorded her first victory this season, proving that Chinese athletes are preparing intensely for their home 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Chinese teams have been making concerted efforts to develop in winter sports, posting improved results in figure skating, short track and speed skating, with ski disciplines being a weak spot of the progressively developing team.
But, with the emergence of young stars like Dinigeer, they will hope to make a significant breakthrough in a sport which was deemed exotic for the country several years ago – even aiming to shatter Norway’s dominance in ski events.
Chinese biathlon bosses invited Norwegian Olympic legends Ole Einar Bjorndalen and his wife Darya Domracheva to train the national team for the home Games in Beijing.