Devon Kershaw battles through to sprint free victory in Szklarska Poreba. UPDATED

17 February 2012 15:50
Devon Kershaw
Devon Kershaw -

Devon Kershaw of Canada delivered a powerful finish and grabbed victory in the men's sprint in Szklarska Poreba. Nikolay Morilov lost the victory in the final meter of the competition. Ola Vigen Hattestad of Norway finished in third place.

Nikolay Morilov opened up the gap after the only climb of the 1600 m lap. The Russian managed to gain some meters and unchallanged came to the sharp curve before the finishing straight. The chasing group led by qualification winner Anders Gloeersen and Mathias Strandvall of Finland.

In the finishing straight Devon Kershaw chose the left most corridor and was finishing strongly. In spite of Morilov having an advantage the Canadian succeeded in last meters and stormed to his first ever sprint World Cup win in his career. Disappointed Nikolay Morilov finished second and Norway's Ola Vigen Hattestad claimed third place.

Sprint World Cup leader Teodor Petterson was eliminated already in the quarterfinal, but he has still a good margin of 51 points on Alexey Petukhov.

Dario Cologna, who finished 8th today, increased his overall World Cup lead to a margin of 404 points ahead of Petter Northug. Devon Kershaw, who is currently third in the overall ranking, is coming closer to Northug with now 146 points to Northug left.

Devon Kershaw (CAN)

I was feeling very strong in the finishing stretch. The final straight is a little bit uphill and that suits me well. I was not thinking much and I was just trying to the finish as fast as I could. I will try my best to catch Petter Northug in the overall ranking. It has been amazing in Poland. I was 11 years ago at the Junior World Championships. The course is beautiful and the fans are great.

Nikolay Morilov (RUS)

It was a very good race for me. I have been in good shape but I had tactics in the finish.  In the finals I fell strong and decided to attack after the climb. The next race for me will be Lahti. I'm looking forward to Finland

Ola Vigen Hattestad (NOR)

I am very satisfied to be on the podium today. My shape has been the best in past two, three weeks. I wanted to be more offensive in the finals as I was little bit lucky in quarter and semifinal.