Italy, Finland Win Team Sprint Gold

FasterSkierFebruary 23, 2007

Posting a time of 17:50.6, the Italian men's team of Renato Pasini and veteran Christian Zorzi out-stretched Russia to capture gold medals in Day 2 of the 2007 World Championships in Sapporo. In an extremely tight finish to the 6 x 1.4km freestyle team sprint relay event, the Czech Republic was third, Germany fourth, Poland fifth and Canada sixth. The top five teams all finished within one second of eachother, and Canadians Devon and Kershaw and Drew Goldsack made it an exciting day for North American fans, finishing only 3.6 seconds from a medal and 4.3 from the gold. Behind them was the Norwegian team of Tor Arne Hetland and Petter Northug, as well as team Sweden.

In the women's race, Finns Riitta Liisa Roponen and Virpi Kuitunen out-gunned Germany and Norway, with Sweden finishing a relatively distant fourth, 20 seconds behind the winning time of 16:20.9 and 16 seconds from third. The top three teams were only slightly less bunched together at the finish than in the men's race, with the German team of Evi Stehle Sachenbacher and Claudia Kuenzel-Nystad less than a second behind the win. Norway's new junior star Astrid Jacobsen, who won yesterday's individual classic sprint, paired up with seasoned powerhouse Marit Bjoergen for a close third, another 2.4 seconds behind Germany and 3.1 seconds out of first.



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