Winter Olympics: Marit Bjorgen wins the final gold of Pyeongchang 2018 as Norway top the medal charts

Peter Rutzler
The Independent
Marit Bjorgen won the final gold medal of the 2018 Games: Getty Images
Marit Bjorgen won the final gold medal of the 2018 Games: Getty Images

The most decorated Winter Olympian of all time Marit Bjorgen has won gold in the women's cross-country skiing 30km mass start classic, the final event of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Norway's Bjorgen, 37, has won a medal in all five of the events she has competed in at the Games, taking her career Olympic medal haul to 15. She won gold in the women's 4x5km relay, silver in the 15km skiathlon and two bronze medals in the 10km freestyle and the team sprint free.

Bjorgen's gold helped Norway to leapfrog Germany on the final day of competition. Bjorgen was their fifteenth gold medallist of these Games – with Germany managing the same number – but a total medal haul of 39 ensured they finished top of the Pyeongchang medal charts.

"When I look behind me and see what I have done, it's incredible," Bjorgen said after the event. "It has been an amazing career for me, this is my last Olympics and to finish like this is incredible.

"I've had an amazing day, today my skis were good and it was special, the last 100 metres by myself there and I understood that I'd win the gold medal."

Bjorgen was competing in her final Olympic event after a 16-year career, spanning four Games. The Norwegian has picked up eight golds in that time, tying her with compatriots Ole Einar Bjorndalen and Bjorn Daehli for the most by a Winter Olympian in history.

She dominated the cross-country 30km event from the outset, making an early breakaway leaving her comfortably ahead by the halfway point of the race.

She finished the 30km in 1 hour, 22 minutes 17.6 seconds, crossing the line 1 minute 49.5 seconds ahead of second placed Krista Parmoakoski of Finland who picked up the silver medal, and 1 minute 58.9 seconds ahead of Stina Nilsson of Sweden, who took Bronze.

Norway ended the Games in South Korea with 14 golds, 14 silvers and 11 bronze medals, while Great Britain finished 19th, with a record haul of five medals, including four bronze and a single gold, won by Lizzie Yarnold in the Skeleton.

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