Cross-Country Skiing: Norway's Marit Bjoergen Claims First Gold In Women's Sprint, Russians Finish 1-2 In Men's

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Cross-Country Skiing: Norway's Marit Bjoergen Claims First Gold In Women's Sprint, Russians Finish 1-2 In Men's

Sprint action was the order of the day at the ski stadium at Whister Olympic Park.

Norway's Marit Bjoergen finally won her first Olympic gold medal, claiming the women's sprint title over silver medalist Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland and bronze medalist Petra Majdic of Slovenia. The victory was the fourth Olympic medal for the four-time World Champion. It was also Norway's first cross-country gold since the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City.

Bjoergen was able to get past Kowalczyk and Majdic on the final downhill before pulling away down the stretch.

"I saw in the end that nobody was behind me, and I thought, 'This is my chance,'" Bjoergen said. "I had a very good day today."

Majdic, the top rated sprint skier entering the Winter Olympics, fell off the course and into a ravine during training, injuring her ribs. She was able to complete after organizers adjusted the schedule and x-rays turned up negative.

The men's side was dramatic for completely different reasons, as Nikita Kruikov edged Alexander Panzhinskiy at the finish line to give one Russian gold over another. Norwegian Petter Northug claimed bronze, 9.2 seconds after the duel for first. He races four more times in an attempt to get Norway's men on the winning track.

More: SB Nation’s full coverage of the Winter Olympics and the 2010 Winter Olympics Medal Count Tracker.

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