Finland takes gold in men's team sprint

The Sports NetworkFebruary 19, 2014 

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Finland's Iivo Niskanen and Sami Jauhojaervi combined to win gold in the men's cross-country team sprint on Wednesday at the Sochi Olympics.

But it wasn't without some controversy.

Finland, Russia and Germany entered the final hill at Laura Cross-country Ski and Biathlon Center locked in a virtual tie for first before Jauhojaervi cut in front of Germany's Tim Tscharnke and sent him sprawling to the snow.

With the Germans out of the race, Jauhojaervi and Russia's Nikita Kriukov sprinted toward the finish line, but the 32-year-old Finn pulled away down the stretch to secure the first Olympic medals for the duo from Finland.

Niskanen and Jauhojaervi finished with a total time of 23 minutes, 14.89 seconds, just under a full second faster than Kriukov and teammate Maxim Vylegzhanin for second.

Sweden's Emil Joensson and Teodor Peterson posted a time of 23:30.01 to bring home bronze, while Germany, the defending silver medalists in the team sprint, finished a disappointing seventh following Tscharnke's tumble, which prompted an unsuccessful protest from the German's after the race.

Peterson and Joensson won silver and bronze, respectively, in the free sprint on Feb. 11.

Norway, which won gold in the team sprint in Vancouver, finished just outside of medal contention in fourth, while the American team of Simeon Hamilton and Erik Bjornsen ended up just ahead of Germany in sixth.

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