Bjørgen leads Norwegian duo to cross-country sprint title and fifth Olympic gold

Cross country skiing superstar Marit Bjørgen spearheaded Norway to victory in the women's team sprint race to win the fifth Olympic gold of her career.

Bjørgen and her team-mate Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg finished in 16 minutes 4.05 seconds, with Finland’s pair of Aino-Kaisa Saarinen and Kerttu Niskanen, 9.09 seconds behind the Norwegians for silver. Sweden’s Ida Ingemarsdotter and Stina Nilsson took the bronze in 16 minutes 23.82 seconds.

Bjørgen had already won the skiathlon at Sochi 2014, to add to the three golds that she scooped at Vancouver 2010.

“We have the strongest team ever. Maybe this is my last Olympic medal,” said the 33-year old after receiving her medal.

“We had some problems but they [the waxing technicians] worked very hard. I'm proud of the whole Norwegian team.”

Bjørgen’s five golds leave her one short of record of six by a female winter Olympian, jointly held by Soviet speed skater Lidia Skoblikova and Russian cross country skier Lyubov Yegorova.

It was also her ninth Olympic medal of any colour, which again leaves her one shy of the record of 10 for a female athlete at the Games, which is held by fellow cross country skiers Raisa Smetanina of the former Soviet Union and Italy’s Stefania Belmondo.