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Bjoergen and Joensson claim classic sprint victory

World Cup: Drammen

Fri, Mar  12, 2010 - By FIS

In the ladies race, Marit Bjoergen dominated the final in the city of Drammen ahead of the both Finnish ladies Aino Kaisa Saarinen and Pirjo Muranen. Magdalene Pajala, who was the first time in her career in the World Cup Sprint Final, just edge out of the podium by finishing fourth, Karianne Bjellaanes took the fifth place and Justyna Kowalczyk, who crashed was sixth.

The queen of the 2010 Winter Olympic Marit Bjoergen is in a great shape and took her fourth World Cup victory in this season. Aino Kaisa Saarinen was back on the podium after having last week a cold and couldn't start in Lahti, while Pirjo Muranen showed her best performance in this season and made her first individual podium spot in 2010.

Justyna Kowalcyzk increased her lead in the overall World Cup to 1736 points. Petra Majdic is with 1191 points still second and Aino Kaisa Saarinen is on the third spot with 990 points. In the sprint World Cup Kowalcyzk (479 points) took over the lead from Majdic (446 points). On third spot is Aino Kaisa Saarinen (375 points).

In the men's race, Emil Joensson broke the dominance of Norwegians and is now the first ever foreign winner in Drammen. He claimed victory ahead of the overall World Cup leader Petter Northug (NOR). The US-American Andrew Newell finished third. Also in the final skied Eirik Brandsdal (NOR; 4th), Yuichi Onda (JPN, 5th ) and Kalle Lassila (FIN, 6th).

Joensson made today his third victory in this season while Andrew Newell was able to claim the podium for the first time after two years (last time was in Lahti 2008).

Petter Northug also increased his lead in the overall World Cup to 1140 points while Lukas Bauer (CZE), who was not competing today, has 888 points. Dario Cologna from Switzerland is just recovering from an inflammation of the sinuses and is still third with 735 points.

In the sprint World Cup, Joensson is now with 121 points ahead Northug. On third place is John Kristian Dahl (NOR).

Marit Bjoergen (NOR)
It is just amazing to ski here. The crowd was awesome and I'm very happy about my victory. I feel in these days very well so that everything is working out. To win here in Drammen is great, a lot of spectators are cheering us and pushing us to the finish line. I'm now looking forward to Oslo and hope I can show there also a nice performance.
 
Aino Kaisa Saarinen (FIN)
I'm happy with my second place. After my sickness last week it is a nice comeback. I hope I will be strong until the end of the season to have a good overall World Cup ranking.
 
Pirjo Muranen (FIN)
I'm really satisfied with my race today. I did the best performance in this season here in Drammen. I had amazing skis, felt good and could show at the end my strength.
 
Emil Joensson (SWE)
It feels good to win here in Drammen. The crowd was amazing - cheering us all the way. I had a good finish and broke with that the dominance of the Norwegians here. After the Olympics I felt not so good so it is good to be back in shape. For the overall sprint World Cup it is still a long way to go - two races are left and everything can happen.
 
Petter Northug (NOR)
I am very happy about my race even I was second. Emil Joensson was stronger in double polling. I was impressed by number of spectators along the course. 50.000 people made huge noise and it helped us a lot. I am also happy for my brother who made it to the quarterfinals. I would like to ski on Saturday in Oslo but I will see what coaches will say.
 
Andrew Newell (USA)
It is good to be back on the World Cup podium. I felt good today and had also some luck in the quarterfinal that I not felt down in a small accident. Emil and Petter were stronger today but the third place is great.