In the women's competition, Kikkan Randall (U.S. Ski Team) led the way for North Americans with a 22nd overall finish just ahead of U.S. rookie Laura Valaas in 24th. Randall qualified in 21st and Valaas 23rd before each finished fifth in their respective quarterfinals. Valaas was only 1.4 seconds from the leader of her heat at the finish, while Randall finished 7.6 seconds behind Petra Majdic of Slovenia, who crossed the line first in her quarterfinal. Majdic went on to claim silver in a photo-finish ahead of the pre-race favorite, Virpi Kuitunen of Finland. It was Norway's young upstart Astrid Jacobsen who took home the gold, making it a double-gold day for Norway.
Among several other North Americans competing in the opening event were Canadians Chandra Crawford (32nd) and Sean Crooks (31st), and Chris Cook of the U.S. Ski Team in 32nd.
Heat results: http://livetiming.usskiteam.com/public/livetiming_calendar.php?aId=89
Official FIS results: http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/604/1228.html?event_id=22246&cal_suchsector=CC