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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Norway, Germany golden

Associated Press

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Norway's Petter Northug celebrates his men's cross-country team sprint victory.

DMITRY LOVETSKY | Associated Press

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WHISTLER, British Columbia Petter Northug finally got to do what he does best, and it ended the way it always does.

After getting in position to use his vaunted closing sprint for the first time at the Vancouver Olympics, Northug blew right past Germany's Axel Teichmann to give Norway the gold medal in the men's cross-country team sprint yesterday.

The freestyle event features a two-man relay, where each skier takes turns going three laps around a 1.6-kilometer course. The women use a 1.4-kilometer course.

The Norwegians finished in 19 minutes, 1 second to beat the German duo of Teichmann and Tim Tscharnke by 1.3 seconds. Russia took bronze.

After being done in by a broken pole in the 30K pursuit his favorite event and bad skis on the 15K freestyle, there was nothing standing in Northug's way this time.

"I hoped to get my revenge," said Northug, who partnered with Oeystein Pettersen. "When I had the spot I had on the last leg, it was up to me again. And here we are."

Norway's Ola Vigen Hattestad the reigning world champion in the individual and team sprints, and winner of the last two World Cup sprint titles pulled out because of a sore throat.

Americans Torin Koos and Andy Newell finished ninth.

Germany won the women's team sprint when Claudia Nystad beat Sweden's Anna Haag across the line by 0.6 seconds. Americans Caitlin Compton and Kikkan Randall were sixth.

Russia took bronze in the women's event.

The German team of Nystad and Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle finished in 18 minutes, 3.7 seconds for the gold.

"It was a great race and we worked very well together," Nystad said.