Winter Olympics: GB's Andrew Musgrave 'will fight for victory' in 15km after seventh in skiathlon

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland in Pyeongchang
Andrew Musgrave competes in the 15km x 15km skiathlon event on Sunday
Musgrave competed strongly in the 15km x 15km skiathlon event to finish seventh
XXIII Olympic Winter Games
Venue: Pyeongchang, South Korea Dates: 9-25 February
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app. Full coverage times

Andrew Musgrave believes he can challenge for a medal in his favoured 15km freestyle event after a "solid start" to his Winter Olympics campaign.

The Scot was "pretty gutted" despite finishing seventh in Sunday's 30km skiathlon, the best result by a Briton in an Olympic cross country event.

Musgrave was second with 5km left but was caught on the final circuit.

"I've got my best race, or what should be my best, coming up on Friday so it's good to know my form's good," he said.

"So, hopefully, I'll be in the fight for the victory in the 15km. It's a completely different race when it's the individual start and I tend to do a little bit better at that, so today gives me confidence at least."

Musgrave, from Oyne in Aberdeenshire, finished 27th in the individual sprint in Sochi four years ago, but his performance in Sunday's 30km race in Pyeongchang was in a different class.

"To be honest, I'm pretty gutted," he told BBC Sport after more than an hour on a course battered by freezing winds.

"Halfway through the last lap, I thought I could still be in the fight for second and third.

"I saw [gold medal winner Simon Hegstad] Kruger had got his gap and we weren't going to catch him.

"It was just at the second last tail, I saw the two Norwegians and they were just going a little bit fast and I could just feel my legs a little bit heavy."

The severe winds in the area caused the postponement of the men's downhill skiing and the cancellation of the women's slopestyle heats.

But, despite temperatures in the region of -16C, Musgrave was unfazed.

"The wind kind of played to my advantage on the Classic [the first half of the two-discipline race]," he said.

"There was such a headwind on the way back to the stadium, the guys didn't go too fast.

"That meant I could kind of keep up. When you're working, it wasn't too cold. I was almost too hot actually."

Callum Smith, his fellow Scot and Team GB team-mate, finished 57th after being involved in an early crash.

Nonetheless, he too feels he is in good shape for the 15km and believes Musgrave, with whom he has trained since their early days at Huntly Nordic and Outdoor Centre, can finally secure that elusive medal.

"Andrew's been there or thereabouts for a couple of years now and I think in the skating [15 km freestyle], which is his favourite discipline, he could do great," he said. "I think he could maybe do it."

Musgrave will also compete in the team sprint competition with childhood friend Andrew Young on Wednesday, 21 February.

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