Cross-Country Skiing - Russia and Norway win tight team sprints

Nikolay Morilov timed his move to perfection to ensure Russia were finally toasting a team victory in this season's cross-country skiing World Cup in Liberec.

Cross-Country Skiing - Russia and Norway win tight team sprints

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Nikolay Morilov Russia

Russia entered the third team event of the season in the Czech Republic having finished third in the 4x7.5km relay in Gaellivare and then second in the team sprint in Quebec.

However Morilov got it exactly right at the finish of another team sprint in Liberec as he and Mikhail Devjatiarov, the Russian No.2 pair, won a dash for the line by 0.8 seconds.

The battle for second place was even tighter with the Norwegian No.1 and No.2 pairs involved in a three-way battle with the Russian No.2 duo which resulted in a photo finish.

The Norway No.1 pair of Eirik Brandsdal and Paal Golberg were awarded second ahead of Russians Alexey Petukhov and Nikita Kriukov with Oeystein Pettersen and Anders Gloeersen fourth.

Meanwhile in the women's team sprint Norwegian pair Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg and Maiken Caspersen Falla edged out Scandinavian rivals Stina Nilsson and Ida Ingemarsdotter.

Oestberg and Falla were hardly out of the top three, barring a blip just after halfway, throughout but couldn't shake off the charge Swedish duo Nilsson and Ingemarsdotter.

Falla and Ingemarsdotter eventually broke away together on the final leg with the Norwegian having more in the tank on the home straight to win by 0.6.

The Norwegian pair clocked a winning time of 11:26.2 and, despite settling for second, Sweden had another pair in the top three in the form of Linn Soemskar and Magdalena Pajala.

They edged out Germans Nicole Fessel and Hanna Kolb and Swiss duo Bettina Gruber and Laurien van der Graaff to finish 5.7 behind winners Oestberg and Falla.

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