Norway wins gold in women's cross-country relay

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Norway claimed the gold medal in the women's cross-country relay on Thursday after Marit Bjoergen pulled away on the final leg to win her third gold of the Vancouver Olympics.

Bjoergen, who has won the individual sprint classic and the pursuit events, went out at the final exchange together with Italy's Sabina Valbusa, but the Norwegian quickly broke away from her only remaining rival and skied alone for the rest of the race.

The Norwegian team of Vibeke Skofterud, Therese Johaug, Kristin Stoermer Steira and Bjoergen finished the 4x5-kilometer race in 55 minutes and 19.5 seconds.

Germany finished second and Finland took the bronze by 24.6 and 30.4 seconds respectively.

"This was a great race, and the other girls did a great race before me," Bjoergen said. "I knew that Germany and Finland were very strong but I did make up five seconds in the first climb."

"I knew this was going to go my way," the 29-year-old Norwegian said. "I knew that in the last lap, and it was fun. I could take the Norwegian flag and race, and that was so very good."

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