Danilova Wins 5K Cross Country Pursuit

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Russian Sweep of XCountry Pursuit

Midway, Utah Feb. 15, 2002 (AP)-- Russian Olga Danilova, skiing surprisingly well in the freestyle technique, pulled away from teammate Larissa Lazutina to win the women's 5K pursuit cross-country race on Friday.

Danilova finished the freestyle, or ``skating'' race in 11 minutes, 54.1 seconds. Lazutina came in 6.9 seconds later to take silver, and Canadian Beckie Scott won the bronze, 17.8 seconds back.

Lazutina appeared to put herself in position to take her sixth career Olympic gold by winning the first half of the pursuit, a 5K classical-style race earlier in the day. Although she finished two-tenths of a second behind Danilova, Lazutina was considered the stronger freestyle skier.

The two women left the starting area at the same time, and from the beginning Danilova didn't fade. Danilova trailed slightly but regained the lead about 8 1/2 minutes into the race and didn't trail again.

Nina Kemppel was the top American, moving up five spots to finish 27th. Wendy Wagner was 50th.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press