– The middle race on the international level was the Bjørn judgment after the race.
– Yeah, maybe that thinks. He has to support it, but today I was the best in Norway. There are also good levels there, Emil Iversen says – and admits it does not agree with that verdict – as a response back.
It is not competing for almost a month
On Thursday, Iversen received NM gold on a 15-kilometer-high class start in the Meråker hometown. He won a stable and exciting race 7.3 seconds ahead of the silver winner Martino Løwstrøm Nyenget and 8.7 seconds ahead of Hans Holmes's bronze medalist.
But the excitement around Iversen's form was great. Prior to Christmas and the first competitions in the Tour de Ski, he appeared as one of the best Norwegian women's candidates in the World Cup. But he traveled home on January 2 and has not competed since then.
Since then he was ill and he was on two winters of the World Cup in Otepää and Ulricehamn. He has been well trained lately.
– Emil has to get up
Torgeir Bjørn emphasizes that what is good at Iversen is what he is winning as a big favorite and how he craves expectations. The NRK expert states that he is strongly fulfilling and becoming the champion of Norway.
– But we miss Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, Didrik Tønseth, Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Sjur Røthe. The distance to the nearest today is too small if you are thinking internationally. One would think that Ivo Niskanen and Aleksandr Bolshunov are far ahead of the race today. Emil has to lift to the World Cup, I think he is deeply aware of himself, says Torgeir Bjørn.
Iversen is, however, open and clear in one thing:
"I did not become a world champion today but he was good enough to become a Norwegian champion," Iversen said.
– That's great for me
Iversen says he felt as if the season started again when he was in the press area after the competition. He also noticed that it had been a long time since he had compete. But after the victory, many officials, friends, fan club and mom Unni Iversen beat.
– That's great for me. It was just a good victory. I did not even ski in the right path. Today I am proud of myself, it is fun to be a Norwegian champion, says Iversen, who felt pressure from a cooperative.
"I grew up here, I practiced here, I do not know how many hours I have at this course," he admits.
Although the World Cup team has not been eliminated, he has long been ready for the Norwegian team of 15 km of classics in Seefeld.
– Trophy for trophies
On the other hand, he is not ready for the 30km commencement of joint skiing. This means that the Sabbath NM distance is even more important for the World Cup.
– It's difficult. Now I have the gold I wanted the most, so that would be a bonus for the starting number for that exercise in Seefeld. It will be a fight of dogs, and we will see how long I'm dating, says Iversen.
Dog fight will also be for Hans Christer Holund, who, unlike Iversen, may not yet be ready for any distance from the VM, although it is well placed on a female.
Holund was far behind after the weak first leg in the Sunday World Cup match at Ulricehamn. That is why bronze gold was worth it on Thursday.
– There were some heavy days after Sunday. So good for the head to do things. Before Sunday I had to run for confidence, Holund admits.