Wednesday Feb. 19, 2014 06:13 ET

Finland takes gold in men's cross-country team sprint

Canadians Alex Harvey, Devon Kershaw ousted in semis

Alex Harvey in competition
Canada's Alex Harvey (L) Switzerland's Gianluca Cologna (C) and Germany's Tim Tscharnke (R) compete in cross-country. (Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images)

It was a ferocious fight to the end, but Finland emerged as the gold medal winner in the men's cross-country team sprint on Wednesday, taking first place with a time of 23:14.89.

After a race in which the competitors exchanged leads over several legs, Finland and Russia finally broke out by the final leg in a battle to the finish. 

Russia finished with the silver medal with a time of 23:15.86, and Sweden took the bronze with a time of 23:30.01.

Canadians struggle in race

After showing so much promise four years ago in Vancouver, the Sochi Olympics haven't been kind to the Canadian men's cross-country team.

Canada's duo of Alex Harvey and Devon Kershaw, who earlier this season finished 1-2 in a Tour de Ski prologue event, couldn't make it past the semifinals in the team sprint in the Olympic competition on Wednesday.  

Harvey of St.-Ferreol, Que., and Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont., finished sixth in their semifinal in 24:20.37, well back of the time they needed to qualify for the final.

Kershaw admitted that he's been sick prior to his race.

"I've been in bed for four days, sick with a cold but starting to feel better. I wasn't even sure I was going to race," Kershaw said.

"I haven't been with the team since Saturday morning, which obviously isn't great preparation. If it wasn't the Olympics I wouldn't have even tried."


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