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Northug wins 50-kilometer freestyle

International Herald Tribune 01.03.2009 18:34
Petter Northug, left, of Norway crossing the the finish line ahead of Maxim Vylegzhanin of Russia and Tobias Angerer of Germany during the men's 50-kilometer mass start race at the Nordic World Championships in Liberec.

Petter Northug, left, of Norway crossing the the finish line ahead of Maxim Vylegzhanin of Russia and Tobias Angerer of Germany during the men's 50-kilometer mass start race at the Nordic World Championships in Liberec.


Petter Northug sprinted away from his rivals again to win the men's 50-kilometer freestyle race Sunday for his third gold medal at the Nordic skiing world championships.



Northug pulled away from Maxim Vylegzhanin of Russia and Tobias Angerer of Germany on the home straight to finish in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 38.1 seconds. Vylegzhanin was 0.7 seconds back for silver while Angerer took bronze, 2 seconds behind.

"A great race for me," Northug said. "In the last hill, I had a good position and here at the last few hundred meters I had a good feeling, so it's great to take the gold medal today. It's amazing to have three golds here."

A large group of skiers stayed together for most of the mass start race and Northug simply bided his time in the main group as no one managed to shake off the Norwegian before the final sprint. Northug is renowned as having the best finish on the circuit and also won the 30K skiathlon pursuit and anchored Norway's winning relay team, deciding both races with a late sprint.

This time, he went passed Angerer with about 500 meters to go but was unable to shake off his rivals until the final sprint to the finish.


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