Bjoergen, the first Norwegian woman to win a 30km event at the
Games, pulled ahead of Therese Johaug with a late burst of
acceleration and Kristin Stoermer Steira took the bronze.
"I am not thinking about how many medals I have," the soft-spoken
Bjoergen told a news conference.
"This 30km had been a motivation for me, it was this distance I
wanted a medal on. It's a revenge from the relay and for all the
waxing guys," she added in reference to Norway's miserable fifth
place in the 4x5km relay last Saturday, which they blamed on poor
"So the record is not meaning a lot to me right now."
After 10km, Johaug, Steira and Bjoergen split from the field and
never looked back, with favorite Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland
retiring midway through the race.
"I got hit by somebody in the first stage and I tried to continue
but it (the pain) was more than I could bear. It was not in the
place where I had my (foot) injury," Kowalczyk said.
Bjoergen joined speed skater Lidia Skoblikova (former Soviet Union)
and cross-country skier Lyubov Yegorova (Soviet |Union and Russia)
as the women with the most Winter Olympics gold medals.
It was the first clean sweep in Olympic cross-country skiing since
Vegard Ulvang led Bjorn Daehlie and Terje Langli to a Norwegian
1-2-3 in the men's 30km classic in 1992.
The previous women's clean sweep came in 1988 by the former Soviet
[to top of second column]
Bjoergen, who also won the skiathlon and the team sprint in Sochi,
is tied with Italian Stefania Belmondo and Russian Raisa Smetanina
as the women with most Winter Games medals in cross-country skiing
Even before Kowalczyk abandoned the race the leading trio were long
gone and gradually increased the gap.
Steira missed her bottle at the feed zone and ran out of juice in
the end, while Johaug pulled Bjoergen in the last kilometer, giving
the "Iron Lady" the edge for the sprint finish.
"I know that Marit was strong in the last hill and had lot of power
so I tried to do my best and she was better than me," Johaug told a
"I'm happy with my second place today."
"I've been fourth so many times and now I've got a medal, it's
amazing," said Steira.
Norway now have 11 cross-country medals at the Sochi Games, on par
with bitter rivals Sweden, although they lead 5-2 on "gold
Bjoergen has not decided on her future.
"It's a good question but I think four years is a long time and I'm
not getting younger," she said.
"I'm also thinking about having a family. We'll see after (the 2015
world championships in) Falun (Sweden) if it is possible to do the
(Additional reporting by Annika Breidthardt and Dmitry Rogovitskiy;
editing by Ed Osmond)
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