ZHANGJIAKOU, China — Norwegian nice Therese Johaug received her third gold medal of the Beijing Olympics on Sunday and Jessie Diggins took silver for the perfect consequence by an American in a person cross-country snowboarding occasion since 1976.
Combating fierce winds and brutal temperatures, Johaug went out entrance early within the 30-kilometer mass begin race and held on to win in 1 hour, 24 minutes, 54 seconds. Johaug additionally received the skiathlon — the primary gold medal of the Olympics — and the 10-kilometer traditional race.
“I’m born in a small place the place there’s a variety of wind and a variety of chilly temperatures within the area, so this was nothing for me,” Johaug stated.
Diggins, additionally snowboarding alone for a lot of the race, stored a gradual tempo behind the Norwegian as gusts whipped throughout the tracks and battered the skiers, many with tape on their faces to guard from the chilly. She dropped to the bottom after crossing the end line, 1:43.three behind Johaug.
“Each final drop of power went into that race,” Diggins stated. “The final two laps, my legs have been cramping. We had superb cheering on the market, and I assumed, I simply can’t surrender, I’ve to place every thing I had into the snow at the moment and end with nothing left. I did strive actually, actually arduous.”
Diggins stated she was sick with meals poisoning the day earlier than, spending the Saturday in mattress and force-feeding herself.
“I used to be feeling fairly dangerous 24 hours in the past,” the American stated. “I used to be speaking to my dad and mom and my mother stated, ‘Don’t resolve how you’re feeling proper now. Simply go on the market and ski since you like to race.’ And she or he was proper.
“That may have been the perfect race of my whole life, I’m not going to lie,” Diggins stated. “It was additionally possibly the toughest race of my complete life.”
Kerttu Niskanen of Finland led a chase group to the road for bronze, 2:33.three behind.
“I informed myself, I’ve come fourth so many (expletive) instances, I’m not going to return fourth once more,” Niskanen stated. “It wasn’t so dangerous throughout the race. It’s truly a lot worse standing right here doing media interviews.”
Diggins made cross-country snowboarding historical past for the US on the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics when she and Kikkan Randall received the workforce dash — the nation’s first gold medal within the sport. Diggins set one other U.S. Olympic document on the Beijing Video games by being the primary lady to win a person medal when she took bronze within the dash.
The silver matched the perfect consequence ever by an American in a person cross-country snowboarding occasion. Invoice Koch received silver within the males’s 30-kilometer race on the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics.
Temperatures hovered round minus 14 levels C (6.Eight levels F) on Sunday however the wind chill made it a lot colder. The ladies skied 4 laps on a 7.5-kilometer (4.6-mile) course.
Johaug pushed the tempo on the primary lap, creating a protracted string of single skiers snaking across the corners and downhills.
On the first verify level at 2.9 kilometers, Johaug, Diggins, Ebba Andersson of Sweden and Delphine Claudel of France created a spot. Rosie Brennan, Krista Parmakoski and Niskanen have been about seven seconds behind, however the hole grew to 28 seconds by the tip of the primary lap.
Natalia Nepryaeva, the World Cup chief, fell behind and dropped out of the race earlier than the tip of the primary lap. On the 8.8-kilometer mark, Claudel dropped off the tempo.
Johaug pulled away from the leaders at about 10 kilometers, with Diggins after which Andersson chasing. The Norwegian maintained her trademark quick tempo on the climbs, however Diggins stayed shut, trailing by about 23 seconds.
On the midway level, Johaug led Diggins by 27 seconds with Andersson 1:15 behind.
With one lap to go and Johaug and Diggins out entrance, the chase group caught Andersson and Niskanen pulled forward in a dash.
Brennan stated coaching within the chilly helped her dangle on for sixth place, 2:38.7 behind.
“Fortunately, I’ve spent the final decade coaching in Alaska,” the American stated. “We’ve had some fairly depressing days coaching, so I attempted to consider these and remind myself that I’m robust sufficient to deal with all of it and that everybody’s on the market going through the identical situations. People who put their head down could make it occur.”