Masako Ishida raced to her best ever World Cup finish with a 5th place in the 15km classic mass start in Nove Mesto in the Czech Republic Saturday. This results puts the Japanese star Ishida in 13th on the Overall World Cup Distance Cup.
On Sunday Jessie Diggins backed up last weekend’s top 10 results with another stunning performance in the Women’s 4 * 5 km Relay. Skiing anchor leg for USA, Diggins took the tag in 6th place just and went head to head with Olympic Medalist Charlotte Kalla of Sweden. These two battled throughout the entire 5km course and caught then Team Germany along the way. The head to head battle continued all the way to the finish line where Kalla persevered by one Salomon boot length ahead for 4th while Diggens finished with the fastest anchor leg of the race and Team USA’s best World Cup relay ever.
I was so incredibly proud of our team today - racers, athletes cheering, coaches, wax techs. Everyone was a little tired after yesterday and it was so amazing how everyone just woke up ready to give this race everything they had. My Salomon skis were unreal today - our team nailed it and I'm positive we had the fastest boards of the day!
One of the benefits of being anchor leg is only having to do one tag off, which is always good news for me. As soon as Liz (Stephen) came through the tag zone and I realized I was right behind (Sweden's Charlotte) Kalla. I threw my plans of "skiing my own race" out the window and proceeded to glue myself to Kalla. It was great to ski with her and though I couldn't get around her in time to pull a great sprint at the end, I'm psyched out of my mind to have been in a photo finish with Charlotte Kalla!
The girls had fun dressing in knee-high striped USA socks and putting on some USA face paint. We really had fun out there today as a team, and it definitely showed.