Cross-Country

Greg Hughes - Wednesday Feb. 19, 2014 05:18 ET

Norway wins women's cross-country team sprint

Nordic medal sweep, Canadians eliminated in semi

Marit Bjoergen
Norway's Marit Bjoergen crosses the line to win gold. (Photo by Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images)

Norway has won the women's cross-country team sprint classic. 

The Norwegians were dominant throughout the race, taking gold with a time of 16:04.05, beating out the second-place Finnish team by over 12 seconds. 

Finland took the silver medal with a time of 16:13.14, while Sweden took the bronze with a time of 16:23.82.

Marit Bjoergen of team Norway said that her team had perfect skis for the race. 

"It was incredible. I didn't think it would be possible to fight for the gold medal — the waxing guys did a great job," Bjoergen said. 

"We have the strongest team ever. Maybe this is my last Olympic medal."

Skis hamper Canadians in race

The Canadian team, made up of Daria Gaiazova of Banff, Alta., and Perianne Jones of Almonte, Ont., competed in the second semi and battled back from a tough start to get competitive with the Swiss for the final lucky loser spot.

Yet the Canadians ultimately came up short and had to settle for fifth place in the semifinal, coming in at 17:09.13.

Gaiazova admitted that she used the wrong skis in the first lap of her race. 

"There was a moment of panic because I needed so much energy, staying with everyone and labouring my way up the hill with my arms," Gaiazova said. "The time and energy I lost in the first lap made a huge difference. It sucks that I made a mistake."

Despite the tough showing by the Canadians, Gaiazova had nothing but positive things to say about the Laura Biathlon & Ski Complex, the venue for the cross-country events at the Sochi Olympics.

"We've got the nicest venue of any Olympics. Putin built his chalet here, so we have these beautiful trails. I think we got really lucky."

 

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