Federico Pellegrino and Maiken Caspersen Falla take first medals of Nordic World Championship

Pellegrino and Falla take first medals of Nordic World Championship
By Sportsbeat

23/02/2017 at 21:07Updated 23/02/2017 at 21:10

Federico Pellegrino and Maiken Caspersen Falla made dream starts to their Nordic World Ski Championships by taking the sprint titles in Lahti, Finland.

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Falla, the Sochi 2014 sprint champion and 2015 world team sprint champion, qualified fastest for the quarter-finals, before winning that, and her semi-final to complete a perfect path to the final.

The Norwegian clocked a time of 3:02.34 over the 1.4km course, beating a chasing American pack behind her.

Jessica Diggins had only scraped through to the quarter finals with the 19th fastest time, but won her quarter and semi finals to book a spot in the last six.

And she took full advantage of it, finishing second, just 1.66s behind Falla, with compatriot Kikkan Randall a further 2.1s behind in third.

In the men's competition Italy's Pellegrino, who previously only had a bronze team sprint medal to his name from the 2015 World Championships, clocked the fifth-fastest qualifying time before going on to win his quarter and semi-finals.

And he only just got the win in the final, stopping the clock in 3:13.76 at the end of the 1.6km course, with Russia's Sergey Ustiugov, who set the fastest time in qualifying, finishing just 0.15s behind in second.

Norway's Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo took the final medal of the day, claiming bronze as he finished 0.44s behind Pellegrino, with the top four spots split by just 0.67s in total.

The action continues in Lahti with Nordic Combined and women's ski jumping, on Friday.