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Kowalczyk becomes double world champion

World Championships

Mon, Mar  2, 2009 - By FIS

26-year-old Justyna Kowalczyk from Poland is double World Champion. After the success in the pursuit she took her second gold medal in the 30 km mass start competition in free technique at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec (CZE).

She finished just 8,8 seconds ahead of Evgenia Medvedeva from Russia. It was a tight sprint for the second and third place. The bronze medal went to Valentina Shevchenko from Ukraine 9,3 seconds behind Kowalczyk while Therese Johaug (NOR) was just edged out of the podium in fourth place.

For the first time the athletes were allowed to change the skis during a World Championships mass start race and it was a successful premiere. A lot of racers used this chance and changed their skis in the stadium at 11,25km and 18,75 km. From the beginning the top athletes kept up a high speed. In the last round the final attack was launched by Justyna Kowalczyk. She went away from a group of seven athletes and held the lead until the finish line.

For Kowalczyk it is the third medal at the 2009 World Ski Championships. Evgenia Medvedeva and Valentina Shevchenko made their first medals - for 33-year-old Shevchenko it is even the first medal ever at a big event.

The 2009 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Liberec will conclude tomorrow traditionally with the 50 km men's race - this year it will be held in free technique. The athletes are allowed to change the ski's four times (at km 8,75; 16,25; 31,25; 38,75).