Cross-country skiing: Klaebo claims sprint gold for Norway

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics
Cross-Country Skiing – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Men’s Sprint Classic Qualifications – Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre – Pyeongchang, South Korea – February 13, 2018 – Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo of Norway competes. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

February 13, 2018

By Philip O’Connor

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) – 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 toward the finish line, both lunging to cross first, and after a photo finish the Italian was declared the silver medalist.

(Reporting by Philip O’Connor, editing by Ed Osmond/Amlan Chakraborty)

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