February 15 - Pavel Andreev has continued his remarkable run of form at the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Winter World Championships in Cogne as the Russian edged Italy's Daniel Antonioli yet again to clinch his fourth consecutive title.
In a repeat of the fanatic finish to last year's Winter World Championships, which was also held in the northern Italian town, Andreev and Antonioli found themselves neck and neck moving into the final stages of the ski discipline following a close contest over the six kilometre run and 12 kilometres bike leg.
The Italian had finished second behind Andreev in the past two World Championships and could not make his slight advantage on the skis count as the Russian edged past him by a mere second to reclaim the title.
Andreev's Russian teammate, Giuseppe Lamastra, who had stayed with the top two athletes on the run and bike, earned his first elite World Championship medal as he skied into a comfortable third place just over 30 seconds behind the leaders.
The women's race proved more straightforward for eventual winner Borghild Løvset as the Norwegian stormed to a two minute lead over the rest of the field to upgrade from her bronze medal at the event last year.
Løvset ran a controlled pace on the first discipline, staying at the front of the pack but just behind Czech Republic athlete Sarka Grabmullerova.
But, after ditching her running shoes, it was all over as Løvset unleashed fury on the bike to open an insurmountable gap over the field.
Behind her, Russia's Olga Parfinenko closed in on Grabmullerova on the bike, but it was an impressive transition that gave her the lead out to the cross country ski course.
From there, the Russian pushed and pulled her way to the podium, grabbing her first World Championship medal in and leaving bronze to Grabmullerova.
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