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Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland wins gold in women's 30-kilometer classical cross-country skiing

February 27, 2010 |  1:46 pm

Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland denied Marit Bjoergen a fourth gold medal of the Olympics, beating the Norwegian in a frantic final sprint to win the 30-kilometer classical cross-country race at the Vancouver Winter Olympics on Saturday.

Kowalczyk and Bjoergen were side by side down the final straightaway before the Norwegian faltered at the end.

Kowalczyk finished in 1 hour, 30 minutes, 33.7 seconds for her first Olympic gold. Bjoergen was 0.3 seconds back to take the silver. Aino-Kaisa Saarinen of Finland won the bronze, 1 minute, 5 seconds back.

Kikkan Randall of the U.S. finished 24th, Holly Brooks of the U.S. finished 36th.

-- Houston Mitchell in Vancouver, Canada