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Sweden's Stina and Norway's Klaebo sprint to cross-country gold

Sweden's Stina and Norway's Klaebo sprint to cross-country gold
By Reuters

13/02/2018 at 13:44Updated 13/02/2018 at 15:03

Stina Nilsson swept aside the field in the Olympic women's sprint classic final on Tuesday, powering to victory in a time of 3:03.8 to secure Sweden's second cross-country gold of the Games.

Maiken Caspersen Falla of Norway, who won the event in Sochi four years ago, took the silver medal and Yulia Belorukova, representing the Olympic Athletes of Russia, claimed the bronze.

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Strong winds again whipped up the snow on the course as the field was whittled down from 68 starters to the six who contested the final.

Stina Nilsson sprints to gold

Stina Nilsson sprints to goldGetty Images

The 24-year-old Stina, who has a superb sprinting pedigree, took control early in each of her races and the final was no different as she sped away up the first hill.

The sprint around the 1,176-metre course requires maximum effort and leaves no margin for error, but Nilsson barely had to look over her shoulder as she glided across the line, arms aloft, to claim victory just over three seconds ahead of Falla.

The Norwegian was locked in a furious battle for second with the 24-year-old Belorukova, and she had to call on every ounce of her experience to hold off the challenge of the Russian in a sprint finish, sliding a ski over the line to claim the silver.

Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo JO Pyeongchang

Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo JO PyeongchangGetty Images

Meanwhile, Johannes Hoesfolt Klaebo powered to a stunning victory in the men's Olympic sprint classic on Tuesday to claim another cross-country gold medal for Norway with a dominant performance in the final.

In a thrilling finish, Italian Federico Pellegrino won the silver medal by two hundredths of a second from Alexander Bolshunov, representing the Olympic athletes of Russia, who took bronze.

After a disappointing 10th place finish in the men's skiathlon, 21-year-old Klaebo was in the mood for revenge as he lined up for the qualifiers.

He made his way methodically through the quarter and semi-finals before exploding into life halfway through the final, which pitted the remaining six skiers against each other.

Having sat behind Bolshunov for much of the early part of the race, Klaebo suddenly switched lanes and powered off up the hill, leaving the rest of the field struggling in his wake.

Bolshunov fought to hold his position but Pellegrino dug deep to mount a challenge, edging in front on the final straight.

The two men thundered towards the finish line, both lunging to cross first, and after a photo finish the Italian was declared the silver medalist.

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