Swedes claim surprise double in Nordic skiing World Cup

Sweden picked up an unexpected pair of victories in the men’s and women’s Nordic skiing World Cup competition in Estonia on Sunday.

On the men’s side, Sweden’s Emil Jönsson eked out a win at the men’s classic sprint after holding off a challenge from Norway’s Ola Vigen Hattestad in a photo finish.

Jönsson came home in a time of 3 minutes 16.7 seconds, but Hattestad was on his shoulder at the line and finished with the same time, but the Swede won by the narrowest of margins.

Russia’s Nikita Kriukov was third and was also in contention right until the line as he finished just 0.2 seconds behind the winner.

Norway’s Petter Northug remains the overwhelming leader in the overall World Cup rankings with 1060 points ahead of second-placed Lukas Bauer who has 763 points.

Meanwhile, Sweden’s Anna Falk claimed her second World Cup victory at the women’s classic sprint in a blanket finish.

The 20-year-old, who won the free-style sprint in Düsseldorf last December, came home first after holding off a strong challenge from Slovenia’s Petra Majdic and Finland’s Aino Kaisa Saarinen.

Falk’s winning time was 3min 6.8sec while Majdic, who is tipped for a medal at next month’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver, finished just 0.1 seconds behind in second while Saarinen was 0.9 seconds back.

Poland’s Justyna Kowalczyk, the overall world leader, was eliminated in the semi-finals and leads from second-placed Majdic in the rankings.

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