Cross-Country Skiing - British trio qualify for cross-country freestyle events

British duo Rosamund Musgrave and Sarah Young qualified for the women's 10km freestyle before Alex Standen made it through for the men's 15km event as the Nordic World Ski Championships got underway in Italy.

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Britain's Rosamund Musgrave competes on February 20, 2013 during the women's World Cup FIS Nordic skiing cross country 5 km qualifications at Val Di Fiemme (AFP)

Musgrave and Young were two of 44 athletes from 19 different nations to take to the snow in Val di Fiemme for the 5km freestyle qualification race for the 10km individual to be held in six days' time.

Only 10 would qualify with Musgrave achieving that with ease after clocking a time of 13:55.1 to rank third overall while Young just squeezed through in 10th place with 14:44.3.

Musgrave was one of three to duck under the 14-minute barrier with Diana Rasimoviciute leading the way with a time of 13:21.3 with her Lithuanian team-mate Natalija Kocergina in second in 13:42.0.

Young meanwhile clocked 14:44.3 for a five-second cushion over Anna Trnka of Australia, who ranked 11th, as the only two Brits entered made sure that they both advanced to the 10km individual.

Musgrave and Young are no strangers to the World Championships having both competed at the last edition in Oslo in 2011 while the latter also competed in Liberec two years previously in 2009.

Joining them, Rasimoviciute and Kocergina in qualifying for the 10km individual are Emoke Szocs, Liping Guo, Tanja Karisik, Ingrida Ardisauskaite, Niviaq Chemnitz Berthelsen and Jaqueline Mourao.

Standen became the third British skier to make it out of the qualification races in the men's event, but Callum Smith did not manage it.

Again only the top 10 would progress from the race - this time raced over 10km - with Standen among them after ranking eighth with a time of 25:44.5.

That booked him a place in the 15km freestyle in a week's time; however, Smith's effort of 26:15.4 placed him equal 16th with Tadevos Poghosyan of Armenia, still impressive given there were 66 starters.

Romania's Viorel Andrei Palici qualified fastest in 24:53.2, the only athlete to duck under the 25-minute barrier, with Pavel Andreiv the second quickest over 24 seconds behind.

Martin Moeller, Artur Yeghoyan and Andrew Pohl rounded out the top five with Karolis Zlatkauskas, Hu Zhou, Standen, Mladen Plakalovic and Oeystein Slettemark completing the top 10.

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