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Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo and Stina Nilsson power to World Cup success in Finland

Klaebo and Nilsson power to World Cup success in Finland
By Sportsbeat

24/11/2017 at 16:40Updated 24/11/2017 at 18:08

Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo and Stina Nilsson of Sweden were the ones smiling after claiming respective golds in the first cross-country skiing World Cup of the season, in Finland.

In Ruka, Klaebo dominated the 1.4km classic sprint course from early on, powering up the final hill with a flourish to win in 2:48.19.

Compatriot Paal Golberg made it a Norwegian one-two, coming in 1.35 seconds behind Klaebo, with Swede Calle Halfvarsson taking bronze.

Last year's competition in Ruka saw Klaebo claim his first World Cup podium finish when he took bronze, and he admitted his dominance was not in the pre-race script.

"It was not my plan to ski away so early but before the final hill I was told I had a 5m lead so I went for it all the way to the finish," the 21-year-old said.

Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (C, 1st) of Norway, his compatriot Paal Golberg (L, 2nd) and third placed Calle Halfvarsson (R) of Sweden pose on the podium

Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo (C, 1st) of Norway, his compatriot Paal Golberg (L, 2nd) and third placed Calle Halfvarsson (R) of Sweden pose on the podiumGetty Images

Earlier in the day, Nilsson snatched victory in 3:17.62 despite qualifying in 19th position, pipping Sadie Bjornsen of the United States to the gold, the American a mere 0.24 seconds behind.

Russia's Yulia Belorukova was also in the mix, but had to settle for bronze, despite being less than a second off the winning time.

"I wanted to remain calm and focused," said 2014 Olympic bronze medallist Nilsson, 24.

"The plan was to save some energy for the final hill because it's a really tough one.

"It has been a really good start to the new season. I hope I am able to keep on skiing fast."

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