Norway's Krueger overcomes crash to win gold in men's 30km skiathlon

It's not how they start, but how they finish, and Simen Hegstad Krueger on Sunday finished strong. Krueger o...

Posted: Feb 11, 2018 10:14 AM
Updated: Feb 11, 2018 10:14 AM

It's not how they start, but how they finish, and Simen Hegstad Krueger on Sunday finished strong.

Krueger overcame a crash at the opening gate to win gold in the men's 30km skiathlon by eight seconds at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The 24-year-old Krueger collided with Russian athletes Andrey Larkov and Denis Spitsov as the race got underway but was able to recover to storm back. He took the lead with 5 kilometers left and never looked back.

"I was completely last in the group," Krueger said, "so I had to start the race again and switch focus to catch up with the guys. When I did it, I was (saying to myself), 'OK, take one lap, two laps, three laps and just get into it again.

"I knew that my chance was to go early, try to surprise the group. When I got those meters, I had to go for it. I did not believe it when I turned and there was no one there. I just had to keep pushing forward until the final."

After the methodical climb — he was 37.8 seconds behind the leader at the 6km mark — Krueger earned his first gold medal in his first Winter Olympics.

"It is an indescribable feeling," he said. "It is an amazing day, but it started in the worst way with the fall after the first 100 meters and a broken pole.I was thinking this is over."

It was an all Norwegian podium, as Martin Johnsrud Sundby earned the silver medal and Hans Christer Holund took home the bronze.

The sweep was Norway's fifth medal sweep in cross-country skiing and 13th overall.

Only Netherlands has more medal sweeps than Norway in a single Winter Olympic sport — speed skating.

"It did not believe it," Holund said. "It was 12 other guys out on the last lap and usually when there are so many people in the end, I am usually not fast enough but obviously the other competitiors were really tired.

"It means a lot. It is something I have worked hard for many, many years and now I am here with an Olympic medal. Three (male) Norwegians on the podium, it is many years since the last time that happened."

Norway's last podium sweep came at the 2014 Sochi Games, as the women swept the 30km freestyle.

The last time the Norwegian men had a medal sweep was the 30km classic at the 1992 Albertville Games.

Norway now has 111 cross-country skiing medals. Only Austria (114) has more medals in a specific Winter Olympics sport.

"I think they did a very good job today," Dario Cologna, who won the gold in the men's 30km skiathlon at the 2014 Sochi Games, said of Norway. "I don't know if it's a big advantage, but in the end, they have been very strong. I had no chance to do something against them."

Spitsov also was able to recover but just missed the podium. He finished fourth. Larkov finished 30th.

Two cross-country events in and Team USA is still without its first medal in 42 years. On Saturday, Jessie Diggins was 4.6 seconds too slow from ending the drought in the women’s 15km skiathlon, and no American came close in the men’s skiathlon Sunday.

Scott Patterson was the highest-finishing American in the men's 30km skiathlon, closing in 18th place.

Thomas Maloney Westgaard, of Ireland, came in last place but crossed the finish line to a huge cheer from the crowd, including Norwegian fans.

Maloney Westgaard was born in Norway but switched his sporting allegiance to Ireland in 2016 because he wanted to represent the country of his mother's birth.

Cross-country skiing has Monday off. The competitions pick back up Tuesday, with both the men's and women's individual sprints.

Qualifying begins at 3:30 a.m. EST and can be streamed on NBCOlympics.com.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 82°
Columbus
Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 81°
Oxford
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 78°
Starkville
Cloudy
77° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 78°
Tropical Depression Claudette has now moved into Alabama and Georgia, leaving with some cloud cover but dry conditions. Most of us will stay dry through this Father's Day but some spotty showers will likely through the late afternoon.
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather