Norway Northug wins men's 50km cross country skiing at Vancouver Olympics

08:33, March 01, 2010      

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Petter Northug of Norway won the men's 50km mass start classic cross country skiing gold medal here on Sunday at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games which is to be concluded in the evening.

At the Whistler Olympic Park, some 240km north of Vancouver, Northug overtook German Axel Teichmann in the last meters to win the gold in 2:05:35.5 for his maiden Olympic individual title after his victory in the team sprint event at the Games.

"My plan was to stay in the group and attack on the last hill," said the reigning world champion, "He (Teichmann) was racing very fast there, I knwo that if I stayed with him I can beat him in the stadium."

"I always said he (Teichmann) is maybe the best sprinter with me. I knew I had to give it 100 percent at the end."

On winning his first individual gold at the Vancouver Games, Northug said that "today I get it and it feels great. It's been a dream for me, these championships has been great."

Northug finished with four medals in Vancouver, with his bronze from the individual sprint and a silver in the 4x10km relay.

At only 24 years old, he also becomes the third nordic skier ever to win both the world and Olympic golds at the distance of 50 kilometers.

Teichmann finished second by merely 0.3 seconds and Johan Olsson of Sweden got the bronze.

"I never imagined to take the silver in the 50km, I'm happy about it," said Teichmann who was caught up around the final bend by Northug, "I never thought that I would make it to the top, so I didn't bring clothes with me for the flowers ceremony."

"I had bad skis between 30 and 40km but when I changed after that I felt strong, it was better," said the German skier as racers are allowed to do at interval points throughout the race.

Swedish Olsson said of the race that "I saw Petter (Northug) in the last hill. He is very strong in the final so I took his back. We were really, really tight at the finish with many people there."

Source: Xinhua
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