Johaug leads Norwegian 1-2 in women’s skiathlon at worlds

FALUN, Sweden (AP) Therese Johaug led a Norwegian 1-2 finish in the women’s cross-country skiathlon race Saturday at the Nordic skiing world championships.

Johaug pulled away from teammate Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen and Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla on the last of four laps of the 15-kilometer race and finished in 40 minutes, 57.6 seconds for her fifth career world title.

”It’s an incredible feeling,” Johaug said. ”This is what I’ve trained for all year.”

Jacobsen then beat Kalla in a tight sprint for the silver medal, finishing 5.7 seconds behind Johaug. Kalla was 0.3 seconds further back for the bronze.

Marit Bjoergen, the Norwegian six-time Olympic gold-medalist and pre-race favorite, couldn’t keep up on the classical-style portion of the race and then seemed to save her energy on the two freestyle laps, finishing 1 minute, 33 seconds back in sixth place.

”It just got too tough,” said Bjoergen, who won the individual sprint on Thursday for her 13th career world title. ”My body just didn’t respond today.”

For the 28-year-old Uhrenholdt, it was her first individual championship medal since winning sprint gold at the 2007 worlds. It also came a year after her brother died on the eve of the Sochi Olympic skiathlon race, which led the Norwegian women’s team to wear black armbands in that event – drawing a reprimand from the International Olympic Committee.

”I don’t have words for how I feel,” Jacobsen said. ”I just decided to go out and have fun.”