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Olympic medal drought continues for US women in cross-country skiing

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: February 13, 2018
  • Published February 13, 2018

Sadie Bjornsen of Anchorage skies in the women’s classic sprint qualifications Tuesday in South Korea. (REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach)

The U.S. women's cross-country ski team is still in search of its first Olympic medal after coming up empty-handed in the classic sprint Tuesday in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Jessica Diggins of the U.S. reacts after finishing in the classic sprint finals. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Minnesota's Jessie Diggins made it to the finals but finished sixth in her attempt to end the American medal drought.

Three Americans, including Anchorage's Sadie Bjornsen, advanced to the quarterfinals. Bjornsen was eliminated in the quarterfinals, Vermont's Sophie Caldwell was eliminated in the semifinals, and Diggins finished about eight seconds out of the bronze-medal position in the finals.

Sweden's Stina Nilsson took the gold, Norway's Maiken Caspersen Falla won the silver and Russia's Yulia Belorukova claimed the bronze.

Bjornsen, who qualified ninth, took the lead at the start of her heat before settling into second place, but she faded badly at the end to finish fourth.

In the men's race, 21-year-old Norwegian sensation Johannes Hoesflat Klaebo captured the gold medal with a 1.34-second margin over Italy's Federico Pellegrino, who edged Alexander Bolshunov of Russia for the silver.

Anchorage's Erik Bjornsen was one of two American men to advance to the heats, but he and Colorado's Simi Hamilton both went out in the quarterfinals.

Logan Hanneman of Fairbanks finished 43rd in qualifying in his Olympic debut. He was 12.2 seconds off the top time of 3 minutes, 8.54 posted by Finland's Ristomatti Hakola and 3.05 seconds behind Bjornsen, who was 30th to grab the final qualifying position.

Other Americans in the race were Ida Sargent, who was 33rd in women's qualifying, and Andy Newell, who was 37th among men.

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