OBERSTDORF, Germany (Reuters) – Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo cleared the rest of the field on the final ascent to claim gold for Norway in the men’s team sprint event at the FIS Ski World Championship on Sunday, while Jonna Sundling grabs a thrilling women’s gold medal for Sweden.
Finland picked up the silver medal while the team representing the Russian Ski Federation won bronze in the men’s championship, with Switzerland scoring a surprise silver ahead of Slovenia in the women’s competition.
Erik Valnes left Klaebo 4.3 seconds behind to enter the final lap on the 1.2km track behind Russia, and he waited until the final ascent before passing Gleb Retivykh to take control of the race, winning by 1.68 seconds.
After winning the classic 30km sprint race on Thursday, the gold medal is second for 24-year-old Klaebo at Oberstdorf and fifth overall.
Finn Joni Maki also made it past Retivykh in the final round to claim the silver medal for Finland, 0.41 seconds ahead of Russia.
Earlier in the day, Sweden’s Sundling took advantage of the slim lead given to him by team-mate Maja Dahlqvist in bright and warm conditions as he entered the final lap under pressure from Russian Natalya Nepryayeva.
Nepryayeva’s challenge fell through as they entered the final climb, but Nadine Faehndrich of Switzerland suddenly caught up to make a thrilling sprint finish, with Sundling keeping her cool at the final corner to advance to victory.
Faehndrich and Laurien van der Graaff grabbed an unexpected silver medal for Switzerland 0.95 seconds behind Sweden, with Eva Urevc and Anamarija Lampic coming in 2.51 seconds later to secure bronze.
(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Christian Radnedge)
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