February 22, 2007 (Sapporo, Japan) – Former sprint world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Thobias Fredriksson has withdrawn from the Nordic World Championships in Sapporo in protest after being excluded from Sweden’s team for the individual 15km by coach Inge BrÃ¥ten.
According to BrÃ¥ten, Fredriksson was not to take part in this Wednesday’s 15km, due to illness but “will race on Friday” (in the team sprint). But now the skiier has left Japan in protest:
He told the Swedish daily, Aftonbladet: “I thought I was going to race, I was out skiing all morning, I was doing fine and I was planning on practising some more in the afternoon.
“I am surprised that nobody has mentioned this to me and that the decision has been taken without any discussion whatsoever. It’s been a hard afternoon, one of the worse in my life. Now I am going home to try and feel better,” he added.