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Bjoergren storms to historic skiathlon gold for Norway

LAHTI, FINLAND (Reuters) - Norway's Marit Bjoergren stormed to victory in the women's skiathlon at the Nordic World Ski Championships on Saturday to claim her 15th world championship gold medal and break the record of 14 golds held by Russia's Jelena Valbe since 1997.

After a tight, incident-filled race, the 36-year-old finally broke away on the last slope to edge out local favorite Krista Parmokoski and take first place by a margin of 4.8 seconds.

In the men's race, Russia's Sergei Ustiugov held on to win gold after an epic battle with Norway's Martin Sundby, who had to content himself with a silver medal after slipping and breaking a pole while making a late spurt for victory.

The two broke away from the pack over the final five kilometers and the race looked set for a thrilling finish when Sundby slipped, allowing the 24-year-old Ustiugov to power away over the finish line and add gold to the silver he won in the sprint race on Thursday.

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(Reporting by Philip O'Connor in Stockholm; Editing by Clare Fallon)

 
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