Marit Bjørgen could celebrate her third gold medal in a row, after fighting through 10 tough kilometers in classic style.
Justyna Kowalczyk versus Marit Bjørgen. Polish will of iron against Norwegian perfectionism. There was no doubt about who the battle of the gold would be between.
The Polish girl gave seconds and spectators a shock when passing the 2,2 km. She had gained a lead of 10 seconds compared to Bjørgen. A lead she managed well, at the most as much as 13 seconds separated the two. That is a great deal of time, considering the distance is 10 km and the best skiers in the world are racing.
To the bitter end
Despite the gap, Bjørgen managed in an impressive way to keep the rhythm and focus on her own race. That seemed to be a winning move, as Kowalczyk had to pay for the pace at the last kilometer. She passed behind the last loop on tired legs, fought brave at the arena and threw herself across the finish line. Four seconds too late.
Three gold out of three possible. The last one with great effort, and the coach had seldom seen his athlete that tired. The pain was unbearable, but the wish to win even greater. We don’t really dare to believe in it, but still can’t resist the thought: Can Bjørgen possibly win all six gold medals?