Johaug bounces back to claim skiathlon gold for Norway

Nordic Skiing - FIS Nordic World Ski Championships - Oberstdorf, Germany - February 27, 2021 Norway's Therese Johaug and Sweden's Ebba Andersson in action during the women's skiathlon 7.5km classic and 7.5km free REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

OBERSTDORF, Germany (Reuters) - Therese Johaug bounced back from an early fall to crush the field and claim gold in the women's 15km skiathlon for Norway at the FIS Nordic Ski World Championships on Saturday, with Swedes Frida Karlsson and Ebba Andersson taking silver and bronze.

Johaug crashed to the snow after colliding with Karlsson, who broke a ski pole in the clash, towards the end of the first of four laps, which allowed Andersson to briefly cruise into the lead as the second lap began.

However, Johaug reeled her in with a powerful performance on the uphill parts of the course and came out of the switch from classic to freestyle skis at the halfway point with a lead of 4.3 seconds over Andersson.

The 32-year-old wasted no time increasing the gap, eventually cruising to a dominant victory by a margin of 30 seconds to claim her 11th World Championship cross-country gold, while Karlsson held off her compatriot Andersson in a sprint finish to take the silver.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor in Stockholm; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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