Norway’s Haga takes gold in women’s 10km cross-country; Kalla second

By Xinhua  |  Feb. 15, 2018

(UPI) — Ragnhild Haga of Norway snatched the gold of the women’s 10km cross-country free skiing of 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games at Alpensia cross-country center here on Thursday.

Haga clocked a time of 25 minutes and 00.5 seconds for her first Olympic gold, while Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla won her second medal at the Winter Olympics by finishing second in 25:20.8.

Haga said: “When I started the last downhill, I was thinking that it is the most important course of my career. I gave it all I had because I feared that Kalla would go even faster in the end of her race. The way that I grabbed this opportunity. Sure, I am very pleased with myself.”

“I have trained a lot on the 10km free this year and I got a feeling that I had a good start in terms of speed. I know I have to do better than I have previously to follow the others from the start. I got feedback during the race that said I had not dropped to many seconds and I had not used too much energy, and I felt it could be a good one. But I was frightened of Kalla on the last round, “added Haga.

Norway’s legendary skier Mart Bjoergen and Krista Parmakoski of Finland tied for third with 25 minutes and 32.4 seconds.

Parmakoski said: “Marit is one of my idols when I was a young girl, so it’s nice to be fighting together with her, it’s a feeling that is so amazing.”

The 37-year-old Bjoergen has won 12 Winter Olympic medals, moving her into a tie with compatriot Bjoern Daehlie for the most Olympic cross-country medals of all-time. She is one medal shy of matching the all-time record of 13, held by Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen.

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