March 22, 2018

Winter Olympics: Sweden's Kalla takes first gold, Bjoergen makes history

10 February 2018, 06:50 | Joan Schultz

Sweden's Charlotte Kalla wins 1st gold medal of 2018 Olympics

Goalie Matt Dalton was born in Canada but will represent South Korea at the Olympics

Charlotte Kalla of Sweden celebrates Saturday after winning the women's 7.5km /7.5km skiathlon cross-country skiing competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Bjoergen captured her 11th career medal Saturday, breaking a three-way tie with Russian Raisa Smetanina and Italian Stefania Belmondo.

Champion Sweden's Charlotte Kalla (C), second placed Norway's Marit Bjoergen (L) and third placed Finland's Krista Parmakoski celebrate after the Ladies' 7.5km + 7.5km Skiathlon of Cross-Country Skiing at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games at the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea, on February 10, 2018.

It was the third Olympic gold medal for the 30-year-old Kalla, who won the 10km freestyle at Vancouver in 2010 and followed that up with a win in the 4x5km relay in Sochi four years later.

Finland's Krista Parmakoski earned bronze, another 2.3 seconds back.

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Meanwhile, Germany's Laura Dahlmeier, 24, won her first gold medal in biathlon, taking the women's 7.5km sprint, ahead of Norway's Marte Olsbu in second place and Veronika Vitkova from the Czech Republic in third.

Including men's events, only Bjoern Daehlie of Norway has won more medals (12) than Bjoergen. She will have a chance to pass that mark in the upcoming weeks.

For Kalla it was the sixth career Olympic medal - and third gold. Sixty seconds later, she had grabbed a 5.5-second lead over Bjørgen and never looked in danger of being caught.

Late in the race, Kalla seemed re-energized and pulled away with a burst. She coasted the final 20 metres for the victory after leading by more than 10 seconds.

Kalla said she anxious she might have made her move too early. "It went my way and I tried to focus forward all the time", Kalla added.

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