Poland's Kowalczyk wins gold in ladies' 10 km C
Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland fought through a broken foot to win the gold medal in today's 10 km classic interval start competition in Sochi, Russia. In the silver position for the second time these games was Sweden's Charlotte Kalla. In third was Norway's Therese Johaug.
OFFICIAL RESULTS - TOP 5
1. KOWALCZYK Justyna 1983 POL 28:17.8
2. KALLA Charlotte 1987 SWE +18.4
3. JOHAUG Therese 1988 NOR +28.3
4. SAARINEN Aino-Kaisa 1979 FIN +30.3
5. BJOERGEN Marit 1980 NOR +33.4
Complete results can be found HERE.
- KOWALCZYK (POL) surpassed ski jumper Adam MALYSZ (POL) as Polish athlete with most Winter Games medals. No other Polish athlete has won more than one medal.
- This was Poland's second gold medal at the Sochi Games, after Kamil STOCH (POL) won the men's normal hill in ski jumping. Before these Games, Poland had won two gold medals in total as KOWALCZYK won the 30km classic four years ago and Wojciech FORTUNA (POL) won the men's large hill in the 1972 ski jumping competition.
- This makes the Sochi Games the first in which Poland has won two gold medals.
- Silver medallist Charlotte KALLA (SWE) won her fourth Olympic medal equalling Toini GUFTAFSSON (SWE) as women with most cross country Olympic medals for Sweden.
- KALLA won gold in the 10km freestyle four years ago, making her the third woman to win a medal in both the 10km classic as well as the 10km freestyle at the Winter Games.
Justyna KOWALCZYK (POL) - gold
On winning gold:
"It's something big for me because I broke my foot two weeks ago. I was fighting with myself with this injury."
"It's taken a lot of years of hard work. This is the gold number four in the history in Poland. So I think this is something big."
On whether she expected to win:
"I was one of the favourites and I really believed I could do it."
On the difficulty of the race:
"This was very tough. The last three or four kilometres were really tough on the body. I had to fight."
On whether pulling out of the sprint free on Tuesday helped her performance:
"It helped a lot. It was good to focus on one race."
Charlotte KALLA (SWE) - silver
On the difficulties of the race:
"It's incredible. I didn't think I could get a medal at 10km because it was so tough but it was tough for everyone."
On the change in speed of the cross country course:
"You have to fight for every metre. You don't have the high speed on the downhills, as we had at the beginning of the championships."
Therese JOHAUG (NOR) - bronze
On winning the bronze medal:
"It was my goal to take an individual medal and I fought so hard for myself today. I was behind the others all the way. I was so, so stiff in my legs."
"When I came to the finish, I thought I was fourth."
"The start of this championships was not the best for me but I fought and I took it, so I'm so happy."