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First gold to Aino Kaisa Saarinen

Fri, Feb  20, 2009 - By FIS

Aino Kaisa Saarinen from Finland took the victory in the first competition at Liberec 2009, the ladies' 10km individual start race in classical technique, on Thursday. She beat Italian Marianna Longa by 4.2 seconds while Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland captured the bronze medal 11.5 seconds back.

Aino-Kaisa Saarinen (FIN):
"I am so happy because one of my dreams and goals has been that I will win someday a World Championship title. And now I did it, so this is the best feeling ever in my life. I knew already at km 8 that I will win, it was a great feeling. Off course, with the gold medal I have to say that the courses are fine - but really, they are nice and good. Probably I will start in all races during this World Championships, we will see - I'm looking from race to race."

Marianna Longa (ITA):
"The silver medal in this technique is good success for me. In the last kilometer I pushed all my power because I knew that silver medal is here and I want that silver medal. My son was on the course and shouted: "Go, go mum", that even pushed me more. It is a great day for me and a dream come truth with this medal. My team and also my training was in the past so good that I could make it today."

Justyna Kowalczyk (POL):
I was so nervous at the start of the race and during it that I get tired after 8 km. I think it is why I was not so good in the last 2 km. There was very big pressure because I won the last to 10 km C races. But I am very happy, this is my first medal on World Championships, this is a bronze medal and it is mine. Today I would only enjoy, relax and eat good food - that is a great day!"