Bjoergen wins gold in women's cross-country individual sprint

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Marit Bjoergen of Norway claimed the gold medal in the individual sprint classic on Wednesday for her second cross-country skiing medal of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.

Bjoergen finished the freestyle sprint course in three minutes and 39.2 seconds. Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland earned the silver, with Petra Majdic of Slovenia taking the bronze.

Bjoergen won the bronze on Monday in the 10-kilometre race and took a silver in both the 2002 and 2006 Olympic Games.

"I saw in the end nobody was behind me and I thought, 'This is my chance', I had a very good day and I am very satisfied," she said.

In the final, Kowalczyk raced to an early lead over Bjoergen, but the two were neck-and-neck on the downhill approach back into the stadium, and then the Norwegian pulled away to hold on for gold.

"I am very happy, because this track is not for me, but I am still a silver medallist, so it is perfect," said Kowalczyk.

"I think round the corner she (Bjoergen) was better, so that is where I fell behind, but I have a medal so it is good."

Majdic, No. 1 in the World Cup standing and considered a contender to win multiple medals, was utterly depleted at the finish and had to be carried off. She injured her ribs during training earlier that day.

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