Sweden’s Stina Nilsson claimed her eighth victory of the International Ski Federation (FIS) Cross-Country World Cup season after winning the women’s 1.2 kilometres sprint classic in Norwegian city Drammen today.
The 23-year-old clocked a time of 3 min 7.57sec to beat closest challenger Krista Parmakoski of Finland by 0.42sec.
Fellow Swede Hanna Falk came third, finishing 1.26 back.
Nilsson now trails sprint World Cup leader Maiken Caspersen Falla by 42 points with only 50 still on offer in next week’s final competition in Quebec City.
Falla failed to make it through qualification today.
"It was a hard race," Nilsson said.
"I had to fight to the end.
"I thought I could win and this feels really great.
"I was sure Maiken would win the sprint globe today.
"I don’t think it’s possible still to win it, but there is still a chance and I will travel to Quebec and try my best."
In the men’s event, home favourite Eirik Brandsdal posted a time of 2:39.35 to secure his first World Cup win since triumphing in Drammen two years ago.
Another Norwegian, Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, finished 2.55 back in the runners-up spot.
Rounding out the podium was Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov, who was 3.28 off the winning time.
"That was hard," Brandsdal said.
"I was so stiff at the end.
"It feels good to be back on top of the podium again."
Klaebo leads the sprint World Cup standings on 369 points, followed by Italy’s Federico Pellegrino on 331.
Ustiugov is third on 322 points.
The World Cup now moves to Norway’s capital Oslo, where men’s 50km and women’s 30km classic technique races are scheduled to take place on Saturday (March 11) and Sunday (March 12) respectively.