Olympics: Sweden's Kalla wins 1st gold medal of Pyeongchang Games

Olympics: Sweden's Kalla wins 1st gold medal of Pyeongchang Games

Olympics: Sweden's Kalla wins 1st gold medal of Pyeongchang Games

For the women's 15-kilometer cross-country skiathlon, with its first half in the classical style and its second half in the freestyle and its usual inhumane upslopes for both styles, Sweden's Charlotte Kalla, 30, fulfilled her wish to upgrade from the silver medal she got in Sochi in 2014.

11 Marit Bjoergen, 37 won her 11th medal, a silver, to become the most decorated female Winter Olympian ever.

"I have been very good for many years", Bjoergen said, "but I'm also getting older and the younger girls are getting better".

She moved clear of Russian Raisa Smetanina and Italian Stefania Belmonndo, who also had 10 cross country medals to their name.

Kalla broke free from the pack at around the 11-kilometer mark of the 15-km race, stretching her lead to approximately 10 seconds at one point, and held off a late charge by silver medalist Bjoergen and bronze victor Krista Parmakoski of Finland.

She said she has plenty of respect for Bjoergen, one of her training partners. "She's a fantastic skier". In third place was Finland's Krista Parmakoski.

Diggins says nerves may have gotten the best of her, causing her to throw up shortly before the race.

"The stress level has been pretty high", Diggins said.

Marit Bjoergen of Norway competes during the women's 7.5km /7.5km skiathlon cross-country skiing competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang South Korea Saturday Feb. 10 2018
Swede takes honour of becoming first Pyeongchang 2018 gold medallist with cross-country triumph

"Things are different after I've been a mom", she said.

The world champion in the skiathlon, Bjørgen was the heavy favourite to claim the first gold medal of the 2018 Olympics as she had done in Vancouver in 2010 and again in Sochi four years later.

She could surpass the overall medal record held by compatriot Ole Einar Bjorndalen, who has won 13 medals, during the rest of the cross-country skiing events at Pyeongchang. Gold medal events are underway in cross-country skiing, speed skating and more. "I don't feel like I have a chance of a medal, so that's why I made this choice", she told broadcaster Eurosport.

Alina Muller scored four goals, including three in the first period, to lead Switzerland over Korea 8-0 in the preliminary round for women's hockey.

One race to make history.

There is a pit-stop halfway through the race where athletes change skis and poles to go from classic to free technique. She coasted the final 20 meters for the victory after leading by more than 10 seconds.

Some local media reported system problems, including the games website and some television sets, were due to a cyber attack but Sung said it was still too early to determine whether hackers had attempted to damage them. "I did not want to look back and just focused on keeping pushing".

Kalla's teammate, Ebba Andersson, barely missed a medal by finishing fourth.

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