Jubilant Johaug powers to 10km freestyle gold

Nordic Skiing - FIS Nordic World Ski Championships - Oberstdorf, Germany - March 2, 2021 Norway's Therese Johaug celebrates first place in the Women's 10km Free on the podium REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

OBERSTDORF, Germany, Mar 2 (Reuters) - Norway's Therese Johaug blew away the rest of the field to win the women's 10km freestyle event at the FIS Ski World Championships on Tuesday in a time of 23:09.8.

Johaug finished 54.2 seconds ahead of Swede Frida Karlsson in second, with Ebba Andersson, also of Sweden, taking bronze.

"That is definitely the best ski race I have ever done," a jubilant Johaug told broadcaster NRK.

In bright sunshine and warm temperatures that prompted some competitors to cut the arms and legs from their ski suits, the athletes started at 30-second intervals but Johuag was soon hot on the heels of the early starters.

The 32-year-old forged a modest lead by the first split time at 1.5km before emphasising her dominance on the second half of the course with a combination of technique and power that the rest of the field were unable to match.

Leading Karlsson by 8.6 seconds after 5km, Johaug increased the gap by a further 10 seconds over the next 1.8km and powered on relentlessly to the finish.

Johaug's second victory in Oberstdorf was her ninth individual World Championship gold and 12th overall, including teams events.

(Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Editing by David Goodman)

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