Charlotte Kalla wins first gold medal of Winter Olympics 2018
Charlotte Kalla of Sweden secured the first gold medal of 2018 Winter Olympic by winning the women’s Skiathlon. The Winter Olympics are held at Pyeongchang in South Korea. Kalla defeated the defending champion Marit Bjoergen of Norway by 7.8 seconds.
Kalla finished the event in 40:44.9 to win her third Olympic gold medal which is her 6th overall. With Norway finishing second, Krista Parmakoski of Finland stood third.
Bjoergen who won silver medal still become the most decorated female athlete as this was her 11th medal in the Olympics.
Skiathlon is a 15 km cross country event in which competitors have to change techniques midway through the race.
There is a pit-stop halfway through the race where athletes change skis and poles to go from classic to free technique.
Kalla, Bjoergen and Norwegian Heidi Weng were on the podium at Sochi 2014 and at the halfway point only 3.3 seconds separated them in the top four.
But Kalla had broken clear by the 12.5km mark and, by 13.5km, she had opened up an unassailable lead of almost 10 seconds.
Bjoergen moved one medal ahead of fellow cross country skiers Stefania Belmondo, from Italy, and Russian Raisa Smetanina.
She could surpass the overall medal record held by compatriot Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, who has won 13 medals, during the rest of the cross-country skiing events at Pyeongchang.
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