Nordic skiing-Blistering Johaug signs off with 30km gold

Nordic Skiing - FIS Nordic World Ski Championships - Oberstdorf, Germany - March 6, 2021 Norway's Therese Johaug celebrates winning the women's Mass Start 30.0 km Classic REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

OBERSTDORF, Germany (Reuters) - Norway's Therese Johaug put in another blistering performance to win Saturday's 30km classic race, streaking away from the start to take her fourth gold medal of the FIS Ski World Championships.

Her compatriot Heidi Weng took second and Sweden's Frida Karlsson followed with the bronze.

Johaug had a lead of 0.6 seconds at the first split time and she kept building, leading by almost a minute a third of the way through the race and barely looking over her shoulder.

The lead kept growing and it wasn't until the 26.7km mark that the 32-year-old, who missed the 2018 Olympics while serving a doping ban, took her foot off the gas slightly.

But by then the rest of the field was almost three minutes behind with no chance of catching her as she coasted to another spectacular victory.

Behind her a pack of four battled it out for the silver medal, and it was Johaug's fellow Norwegian Weng who entered the final straight in the lead, holding off a challenge from Karlsson to take second spot by six-tenths of a second, two minutes and 34.2 seconds after Johaug crossed the line.

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

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