Norwegians dominate cross-country sprints in Asiago, Italy

Norwegians dominate cross-country sprints in Asiago, Italy{mosimage}Norwegians Jens Arne Svartedal and Marit Bjoergen won cross-country sprints Tuesday at a World Cup competition in Asiago, Italy. Svartedal beat countryman Tore Arne Hetland and Sweden’s Bjoern Lind in the 1.2-kilometer classical-style sprint final. Another Norwegian, Trond Iversen, finished fourth.

In the women’s final, Bjoergen recorded her third consecutive World Cup victory this season and fifth in seven races. Bjoergen, winner of the double pursuit Saturday, outsprinted Finland’s Virpi Kuitunen, Norway’s Ella Gjoemle and Sweden’s Emelie Ohrstig in the one-lap final.

Bjoergen leads the women’s World Cup standings. Germany’s Axel Teichmann, eliminated in the semifinals Tuesday, consolidated his overall lead among the men.-The Associated Press

Norway strong again in team events
ASIAGO, Italy — Norway dominated World Cup cross-country skiing for a second day Wednesday, adding victories in the team sprints to their ones in individual races. The team of Tor Arne Hetland and Jens Arne Svartedal won the men’s final, beating the Russian duo of Nikolai Pankratov and Vassili Rotchev by 2.9 seconds. Svartedal had outsprinted his teammate, the Olympic champion, in Tuesday’s individual sprint event.

World Cup leader Marit Bjoergen teamed with Ella Gjoelme to win the women’s double sprint, finishing one second ahead of the Finnish pair of Aino Kaisa Saarinen and Virpi Kuitunen. Sweden’s Elin Ek and Anna Dahlkberg finished third, 28 seconds back.

Bjoergen, who clinched her fifth win of the season out of seven races on Tuesday, leads the women’s standings with 610 points, 270 ahead of runner-up Kristina Smigun of Estonia.

Germany’s Axel Teichmann, the men’s overall World Cup leader, did not compete in the team sprints, which do not count toward the individual standings. The next World Cup event is at Ramsau, Austria, on Dec. 18-19. -The Associated Press

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