FILE UNDER -- Nordic

TORINO: XC: Late surge gives Russian Dementiev men's pursuit gold

TORINO: XC: Late surge gives Russian Dementiev men’s pursuit gold{mosimage}PRAGELATO, Italy – Eugeni Dementiev of Russia surged from behind and overtook several skiers in the final 100 meters to win the 30-kilometer men’s pursuit race Sunday at the Torino Olympics.

Frode Estil of Norway recovered from a fall at the mass start that cost him 45 seconds to take silver, and Italy’s Pietro Piller Cottrer settled for bronze. Dementiev won in 1 hour, 17 minutes and .8 seconds.

Cottrer and countryman Giorgio di Centa entered into the stadium to cheers from the cowbell-clanging, beer-chugging fans who lined the course and packed the stadium area. They were looking for a one-two Italian sweep and their country’s first gold medal, but were edged at the finish.

World champion Vincent Vittoz of France placed sixth, while World Cup leader Tobias Angerer of Germany was 12th after leading at several points. Angerer is trying for his first individual Olympic medal in these Games.

A dozen men’s and women’s skiers were suspended five days for elevated hemoglobin in their blood, and several missed Sunday’s events. There is no proof the athletes doped; the result can be caused by dehydration or adjustment to high altitude; but it does suggest the possibility of illegal blood doping.

Most will be retested Monday and could be cleared to participate in later events at the Games.

At one point early in the skate portion, Lukas Bauer of the Czech Republic eased up, looked to Cottrer because he no longer wanted to expend so much energy in the lead, and let someone else do the work for a bit.

Ivan Babikov, a Russian trying to become a Canadian citizen, stayed with the front pack the entire race — making yet another positive impression with a 13th-place showing. In December, Babikov was competing for Canada and wearing the red Maple Leaf but still listed as a Russian athlete because he is yet to gain citizenship in Canada.

Babikov has been returning to Russia to see his wife and toddler son and surprisingly made the country’s Olympic team after he thought he wouldn’t be racing here at all.

The Germans were without Axel Teichmann, the 2003 15-kilometer world champion who needed surgery on his right thigh because a hair got infected.

Athletes in the pursuit event change skis halfway through the race, going from classic skiing to skating.

Swenson, 40th, leads U.S. men
Three-time Olympian Carl Swenson was the top U.S. finisher in 40th.

Swenson finished the course in 1:21:08.0, 4:07.2 behind Dementiev. Andrew Johnson was 43rd (1:21:16.8), James Southam 44th (1:22:05.8) and Lars Flora 49th (1:22:31.2).

‘It was tough, I would have liked to have been up with the lead pack, but I think I can build on this and move up as the week goes on,” said Swenson. “I’m really looking at the 50K at the end of the Olympics.’

‘It’s a great course, perfect conditions,” said Swenson. “But it’s the Olympics and everybody wants to be there in a big pack, so it was pretty messy there at the beginning. When the crashes start coming, all you can do is stay light on your feet and keep looking ahead. I managed to move around three crashes in the first two kilometers.’

Southam, competing at his first Olympics, got caught up in some traffic and crashes very near the start of the race.

“The course was good, the corners on the classic part were a little tight,” said Southam. “People were getting thrown and there were a lot of crashes out there. There were probably four crashes in the first lap. There were about three different crashes in front of me. I caught my shin in a guy’s armpit and I went down. It was a rough first 200 meters.’

Next up for the cross country skiers is the 6×1.4 km team sprint on Feb. 14.

The USSA contributed to this report.

Cross-country men’s 30 km pursuit

1. Eugeni Dementiev, Russia, 1:17:00.8.
2. Frode Estil, Norway, 1:17:01.4.
3. Pietro Piller Cottrer, Italy, 1:17:01.7.
4. Giorgio di Centa, Italy, 1:17:03.2.
5. Anders Soedergren, Sweden, 1:17:04.3.
6. Vincent Vittoz, France, 1:17:07.5.
7. Mikhail Botwinov, Austria, 1:17:08.5.
8. Martin Bajcicak, Slovakia, 1:17:08.7.
9. Maxim Odnodvortsev, Kazakhstan, 1:17:09.6.
10. Lukas Bauer, Czech Republic, 1:17:10.1.
11. Markus Hasler, Liechtenstein, 1:17:10.9.
12. Tobias Angerer, Germany, 1:17:12.5.
13. Ivan Babikov, Russia, 1:17:17.2.
14. Jiri Magal, Czech Republic, 1:17:21.7.
15. Mathias Fredriksson, Sweden, 1:17:23.1.
16. Fabio Santus, Italy, 1:17:25.5.
17. Martin Tauber, Austria, 1:17:28.6.
18. Tord Asle Gjerdalen, Norway, 1:17:36.2.
19. Valerio Checchi, Italy, 1:17:37.8.
20. Kaspar Kokk, Estonia, 1:17:50.8.
21. Sami Jauhojarvi, Finland, 1:17:58.1.
22. Martin Koukal, Czech Republic, 1:18:09.6.
23. Jens Filbrich, Germany, 1:18:38.2.
24. Johan Olsson, Sweden, 1:18:47.9.
25. Ivan Batory, Slovakia, 1:18:58.2.
26. George Grey, Canada, 1:19:08.9.
27. Alexandre Rousselet, France, 1:19:17.0.
28. Jan Egil Andresen, Norway, 1:19:29.8.
29. Anders Aukland, Norway, 1:19:30.6.
30. Andrey Golovko, Kazakhstan, 1:19:34.3.
31. Joergen Brink, Sweden, 1:19:35.3.
32. Vicente Vilarrubla, Spain, 1:19:39.8.
33. Aivar Rehemaa, Estonia, 1:19:51.4.
34. Tero Similae, Finland, 1:20:04.5.
35. Christophe Perrillat, France, 1:20:12.0.
36. Milan Sperl, Czech Republic, 1:20:16.7.
37. Remo Fischer, Switzerland, 1:20:19.7.
38. Alexander Legkov, Russia, 1:20:28.2.
39. Dan Roycroft, Canada, 1:20:53.3.
40. Carl Swenson, United States, 1:21:08.0.
41. Toni Livers, Switzerland, 1:21:08.2.
42. Katsuhito Ebisawa, Japan, 1:21:16.2.
43. Andrew Johnson, United States, 1:21:16.8.
44. James Southam, United States, 1:22:05.8.
45. Dmitrij Eremenko, Kazakhstan, 1:22:09.9.
46. Nejc Brodar, Slovenia, 1:22:23.9.
47. Mikhail Gumenyak, Ukraine, 1:22:24.6.
48. Zsolt Antal, Romania, 1:22:29.8.
49. Lars Flora, United States, 1:22:31.2.
50. Roman Leybyuk, Ukraine, 1:22:31.5.
51. Wan Xia, China, 1:22:31.7.
52. Ivan Arteev, Russia, 1:22:36.2.
53. Olexandr Putsko, Ukraine, 1:22:37.6.
54. Michal Malak, Slovakia, 1:23:39.9.
55. Diego Ruiz, Spain, 1:24:05.5.
56. Joze Mehle, Slovenia, 1:24:13.6.
57. Drew Goldsack, Canada, 1:24:14.3.
58. Alexander Batyuk, Ukraine, 1:24:35.9.
59. Nobu Naruse, Japan, 1:25:21.3.
60. Reto Burgermeister, Switzerland, 1:25:49.9.
61. Andrey Kondroschev, Kazakhstan, 1:25:51.4.
62. Chris Jeffries, Canada, 1:26:17.0.
63. Long Ren, China, 1:26:26.4.
64. Mihai Galiceanu, Romania, 1:26:31.8.
65. Denis Klobucar, Croatia, 1:27:16.4.
66. Sabahattin Oglago, Turkey, 1:28:03.8.

Did not finish
NR. Rene Sommerfeldt, Germany, DNF.
NR. Emmanuel Jonnier, France, DNF.
NR. Shunsuke Komamura, Japan, DNF.
NR. Byung Joo Park, South Korea, DNF.
NR. Dawei Han, China, DNF.
NR. Im-Heon Choi, South Korea, DNF.
NR. Zhiguang Li, China, DNF.
NR. Eui Myung Jung, South Korea, DNF.
NR. Francesc Soulie, Andorra, DNF.
NR. Ivan Bariakov, Bulgaria, DNF.

Did not start
NR. Olli Ohtonen, Finland, DNS.

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