Carolina Johnson became the first Swedish winner of the women’s 30km since 2017 at the TCS Lidingöloppet, a World Athletics Cross Country Tour Silver event, on Saturday (23).
In the first of five World Athletics Cross Country Tour Silver and Bronze events to be held in Europe in the build-up to the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Brussels on 10 December, Johnson won over the atypical cross country distance of 30km in 1:54:25 ahead of four-time winner and course record-holder Sylvia Medugu from Kenya in 1:56:08.
“Maybe it wasn't what everyone had expected but I still had the goal of reaching a top position. The goal was still high up, maybe at the very top,” said Johnson as reported by SVT.
A former European U20 3000m steeplechase silver medallist, Johnson’s ascent into the senior ranks has been blighted by injuries but the 27-year-old has aspirations of representing Sweden on the track next year at the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships and the Olympic Games in Paris.
“It wouldn't really have been me if I hadn't aimed for the biggest and I think that everything is possible. Besides, I have a lot left to do and have a lot to get out,” said Johnson.
American international Diego Estrada won the men’s 30km in 1:39:11 ahead of Sweden’s Linus Rosdahl in 1:40:27, adding his name to an illustrious roll-of-honour which includes the likes of 1980 Olympic 5000m silver medallist Suleiman Nyambui from Tanzania and Kenya’s Douglas Wakihurii, the 1987 world marathon champion.
More than 25,000 runners from 70 countries took part across the programme, signalling a return to pre-pandemic levels of participation in the world’s biggest cross country race.
The next European fixture on the World Athletics Cross Country Silver and Bronze tour is the Autumn Open International in Dublin, Ireland.
The full calendar can be found here.