Russia, Norway win team cross-country sprints at worlds

LAHTI, Finland (AP) " Russia won the men's cross-country skiing team sprint at the world championships Sunday after a dramatic last-lap crash wrecked the chances of the two leading teams.

Norway's Emil Iversen was fighting for the lead with Finland's Iivo Niskanen but they collided as the Finn moved to overtake on the inside of the final bend.

Sergei Ustyugov took the win for Russia, overtaking Italian Federico Pellegrino on the final stretch to win by 2.2 seconds. Niskanen recovered to take third, 6.5 seconds further back.

It was the second win in two days for Ustyugov, who also won Saturday's skiathlon, and his third medal of the championships. The team sprint is a 6x1.3-kilometer relay, with each country's skiers alternating to race three legs each.

Ustyugov's teammate for Sunday's race, Nikita Kryukov, said the win was "revenge for Sochi," a reference to the 2014 Winter Olympics, when Finland beat Russia to gold in the men's team sprint in front of a Russian home crowd.

Norway's Maiken Caspersen Falla and Heidi Weng won the women's team sprint by 5.6 seconds for Norway's third win from three women's cross-country events at the championships.

Russia's Yulia Belorukova and Natalia Matveeva were second.

Jessica Diggins of the United States lunged at the line to beat Sweden to third place by a fifth of a second.

Diggins and partner Sadie Bjornsen were 12.8 seconds behind Russia.

Bjornsen fell after completing the second exchange and was struck in the face by Belorukova's ski, but was able to continue.

Also Sunday, Germany won the men's team Nordic combined normal hill event. The Germans dominated the ski jumping to take a 44-second advantage into the 4x5-kilometer cross-country ski stage, and preserved that margin to win by 41.7 seconds from Norway.

Austria won a close battle with Japan to take third, 22 seconds behind the Norwegians.

It was Germany's second gold medal in Nordic combined at the world championships after Johannes Rydzeck led a 1-2-3 finish in the men's individual normal hill event Friday.

The Germans added another gold medal with a dominant victory in the mixed team ski jumping.

They led after each of the eight rounds and racked up a winning score of 1035.5 points, with strong jumps from Markus Eisenbichler, who set the longest jump at 99.5 meters, and the newly crowned women's world champion Carina Vogt.

Austria was second on 999.3 and Japan third on 979.7.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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