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Winter roundup: US duo earns cross-country gold

Kikkan Randall and Jessica Diggins gave the United States its first world championship gold medal in cross-country skiing Sunday by winning the women’s team sprint in Val Di Fiemme, Italy, by nearly eight seconds.

After Diggins opened up a small lead on her last leg, Randall anchored the victory with a scorching final lap to pull away from the Swedish and Finnish teams.

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The US pair finished the 6x1.2-kilometer event in 20 minutes 24.4 seconds, beating Swedish defending champions Charlotte Kalla and Ida Ingemarsdotter by 7.8 seconds. Finland’s Riika Sarasoja-Lilja and Krista Lahteenmaki finished third.

‘‘It feels incredible,’’ Randall said.

‘‘This is something we've looked forward to for a long time. It’s my seventh world championship and I've had to spend a lot of time watching award ceremonies, so we’re pretty excited to do it, and in a team event especially, and to finally get us on the podium.”

In the men’s 6x1.5-kilometer event, Alexei Petukhov and Nikita Kriukov of Russia won in 21:30.9.

Alpine skiing — Slovenia's Tina Maze clinched her first World Cup overall title by winning a super-combined event in Meribel, France, her eighth win of the season. So overpowering was her season that she clinched the overall trophy with nine races to go.

Alexis Pinturault of France won a men’s World Cup giant slalom event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, in a combined time of 2:32.42. World Cup leader Marcel Hirscher of Austria and Ted Ligety of the United States took second and third, respectively.

Luge — Germany’s Andi Langenhan won the final World Cup meet of the season in Sochi, Russia, in a combined time of 1:47.335, while Felix Loch of Germany clinched the overall title.

Nordic combined — Olympic champion Jason Lamy Chappuis led France to victory in the team event at the world championships in Val Di Fiemme, Italy, and the US took bronze for its first medal at worlds in the event.

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