Cologna wins 15K classical race for 2nd Sochi gold

  • Associated Press
  • Friday, February 14, 2014 3:29pm
  • SportsSports

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Dario Cologna, skiing in short sleeves on another warm and sunny day, won his second gold medal at the Sochi Olympics on Friday with a dominant performance in the 15-kilometer classical-style cross-country race.

The Swiss led by just 0.7 seconds at the 8-kilometer mark of the interval-start race, but his advantage grew steadily and he finished 28.5 seconds ahead of Sweden’s Johan Olsson.

Another Swede, Daniel Richardsson, took bronze after his strong finish put him 0.2 seconds ahead of Finland’s Iivo Niskanen.

Cologna started 30 seconds behind Olsson but caught the Swede before coming into the stadium, and the two were side-by-side on the final straight.

The two may have benefitted from early start numbers. Both went out ahead of the seeded group, and the warm weather softened the course for the later starters. Czech veteran Lukas Bauer, second in the seeded group, was the only other skier within a minute of Cologna, finishing 58.9 seconds back in fifth place.

Overall World Cup leader Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway had a disappointing race, finishing 1:37.7 behind the winner. Chris Andre Jespersen was the top Norwegian in sixth place. He skied in a modified suit with shorts and cutoff sleeves in the bright sunshine.

Cologna and Olsson would both normally have been in the seeded group, but they haven’t competed much on the World Cup because of injuries. Cologna had ankle surgery in November and returned to competition only last month, but still won the opening 30K skiathlon in Sochi. Olsson, the 50K classical world champion, had not competed in about two months because of an illness and rib injury.

The 22-year-old Niskanen was surprisingly in the lead early in the race and then second just behind Cologna at the 8K mark, but he faded toward the end and just missed out on a medal. The Finn has competed only once on the World Cup this season, finishing eighth in a 15K race in Italy two weeks ago. He won the under-23 world championship title in the discipline in January.

Norway dropped Petter Northug for the race after the two-time Olympic gold medalist from Vancouver struggled in the opening two men’s races. Russia, meanwhile, surprisingly dropped both Alexander Legkov and Maxim Vylegzhanin, who had been seen as the country’s top medal candidates. Alexander Bessmertnykh was the top Russian in seventh place.

More in Sports

Seattle falls short in 34-31 home loss to Atlanta

Russell Wilson rallied the Seahawks late, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a defeat.

Wesco and Cascade Conference athletes honored

Check out the 2017 all-conference teams.

Seahawks’ postseason hopes dealt a blow by loss to Falcons

Seattle will likely spend the rest of the regular season fighting for a playoff berth.

Seahawks’ battered secondary holds up against reigning MVP

Seattle’s secondary corrected itself despite stumbling early in the game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Seahawks’ grades from Monday’s 34-31 loss to Atlanta

Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks graded out in their 34-31 loss to… Continue reading

BLOG: Carter Hart wins Goaltender of the Week

Everett Silvertips goalie Carter Hart was named the Western Hockey League Goaltender… Continue reading

Washington to play role of spoiler in Apple Cup

UW can ruin WSU’s chances of a Pac-12 North title and earn its 10th win on Saturday.

3 local basketball coaches will be inducted in Hall of Fame

The Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association will honor the coaches in July.

Sounders have their eyes set on Houston

Seattle will continue their MLS title defense in conference finals in Houston.

Most Read