Joensson wins in Lahti
Sun, 13 Mar 14:40:00 2011
Sweden's Emil Joensson put the finishing touches to the overall FIS cross-country skiing World Cup sprint crown with a fourth victory of the season in Lahti, Finland.
Switzerland's Dario Cologna wrapped up the overall title on Saturday in Finland, but as he romped home to victory on Sunday, Joensson took his sprint points tally to 530, ensuring he cannot be caught in the final race of the season.
In truth, Joensson already had one-and-a-half hands on the crown but on Sunday he confirmed the title was his, starting the day 86 points ahead of his nearest rival Ola Vigen Hattestad of Norway and needing to take his lead above 100 to seal it.
And that he did in some style, storming to another gold medal ahead of Norwegian duo Eirik Brandsal and Paal Golberg who took silver and bronze respectively.
Hattestad failed to reach the final six-strong medal showdown, taking the pressure off Joensson, and could only manage 13th place on the day, failing to reach even the semi-finals.
He will take some consolation from the fact that overall sprint silver is all but his however, and he currently has 364 points, 87 ahead of nearest rival Alexei Putekhov, who was absent in Lahti and who could lose his third spot to Sweden's Jesper Modin on the final day of the season.
Meanwhile, in the women's sprint race, three-time Olympic champion Marit Bjoergen kept alive her feint hopes of catching overall sprint leader Petra Majdic of Slovenia with victory in Finland.
Bjoergen, who has been absent for large parts of this season, racked up her tenth win of the season but will need to win again in the final race of the campaign and hope Majdic, who was third on Sunday, has a disaster in the remaining outing.
More Than The Games / Eurosport