AFP

Sergey Ustiugov banishes sprint blues with cross country triumph

Ustiugov banishes sprint blues with cross country triumph
By Sportsbeat

25/02/2017 at 16:46Updated 25/02/2017 at 18:34

Russia's Sergey Ustiugov stormed to victory in the 30km cross country skiathlon in Lahti.

Ustiugov beat Martin Johnsrud Sundby to the gold in Finland, with the Norwegian's compatriot Finn Haagen Krogh coming home in third to take bronze, his first individual World Championship medal.

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Sundby, the defending champion, and Ustiugov were battling it out neck and neck ahead of the chasing pack until the Norwegian's ski broke, allowing the 24-year-old Russian to pull clear for victory.

Ustiugov finished in 1:09.16.7, with Sundby coming in 6.7s later and left ruing his equipment malfunction.

Krogh came home 31.8s behind the leader, beating fellow Norwegian Sjur Roethe to the final podium sport.

Ustiugov said: "It is a great achievement for me. I was disappointed after the sprint so to win the gold medal is amazing. It is not only my success. The whole team did a great job."

And despite having to settle for second, Sundby was pleased with his efforts.

"I think I have never skied such a fast 15 km in skate," he said. "I was skiing with one of the fastest men in the world. I had to try to gain some seconds on the last climb.

"Unfortunately it did not work and I made a mistake."

With Krogh adding: "It was hard – a championship race is always nervous. Everyone wants to get a medal and you feel everyone is a little bit more focused.

"You have to do your very best to get a medal and I’m satisfied with making it today."

Sportsbeat 2017

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