Northug nails the gold again

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Petter Northug anchored the Norwegian men’s ski team in the 10-kilometer relay at the world championships in Sweden on Friday and was first to cross the finish line, bringing Norway its eighth gold medal in the competition so far. The Norwegians beat their arch-rival Swedes in a dramatic and close finish.

“You feel the pressure from a whole nation,” Northug’s teammate Niklas Dyrhaug, who skied a strong first lap of the relay, told state broadcaster NRK. “It was just great to win gold against Sweden, in Sweden.”

Johan Olsson didn’t do as well in the second lap, giving Sweden the lead, but then Anders Gløersen skied like a rocket and made up the difference, sending Northug into the lead ahead of Sweden, which won the silver medal. The men’s team from France won bronze.

Prime Minister Erna Solberg was in Falun and among the first to congratulate her four fellow Norwegians. “But you had to make it (a bit too) exciting,” she chided them, for which Northug, who wasn’t entirely satisfied with his own spurt to the finish, jokingly apologized.

On Thursday night, Norway won its 14th medal at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun when ski jumper Rune Velta took the bronze on the so-called “big hill.” Velta jumped 126.5 meters on his first attempt and 128.5 on the second, enough to leave the 25-year-old from Lommedalen with his third medal at the world championships, including one in gold. Severin Freund of Germany won Thursday’s gold, while Gregor Schlierenzauer of Austria took silver.

newsinenglish.no staff