sport

Hattestad dodges chaos for gold

Ola Vigen Hattestad emerged unscathed from a chaotic men's cross country sprint final to clinch gold for Norway.

Hattestad dominated the prologue and knockout stages of the event before skiing away to victory in a final which saw four of his five rivals suffer crashes.

Sweden's Marcus Hellner had already crashed out before Anders Gloeersen slipped on a slushy section of the course and brought down both Emil Joensson of Sweden and Russia's Sergey Ustiugov.

Joensson was fastest to react as he picked himself up to take bronze behind Hattestad and silver medallist Teodor Peterson of Sweden.

Hattestad said: "I didn't see them fall. I thought it was a little bit weird that no-one attacked me on the uphill because I was skiing quite slowly.

"My tactic all day was to be at the front of the field, especially before the last uphill, so I could control it and have power in the end."

Norway also won the women's event but victory did not come in the expected form of Marit Bjoergen, who was looking to add to the gold medal she won in the skiathlon on Saturday.

Bjoergen was knocked out in the semi-finals as compatriots Maiken Caspersen Falla and Ingvild Oestberg took gold and silver respectively, with Vesnar Fabjan of Slovenia taking bronze.

In arguably the most impressive performance of the day, Norway's Astrid Jacobsen, whose brother died unexpectedly on the eve of the Games, finished just outside the medals in fourth place.

Falla paid tribute to her team-mate, saying: "It's been a hard time for the Norwegian team after what happened with Astrid.

"Astrid is really strong and she's taken the decision to stay here in the Olympics. Her shape is so good. I really hope she's going to catch a medal."