Randall first US woman to win WC cross-country race
DEMINO, Russia -- Kikkan Randall became the first U.S. woman and second American to win a World Cup cross country race Sunday when she defeated world sprint champion Astrid Jacobsen of Norway in the final meters of a 1.2-kilometer freestyle.
Randall is the first American to win a World Cup cross country race since Bill Koch in 1983.
She finished in 2 minutes, 48.7 seconds -- 0.7 seconds ahead of Jacobsen. Natalia Korosteleva of Russia was third, 0.9 seconds behind.
"Last year [when I was third here], I was too tentative to make a move on the uphill. This year, I figured 'No guts, no glory' and was ready to make the move," said Randall, who is from Anchorage, Alaska.
Her performance is the fourth World Cup podium by U.S. sprinters in the last three seasons after a 23-year drought.
Andy Newell was third in a sprint in China after the 2006 Turin Olympics; Randall finished third in Rybinsk last season and a week later Torin Koos was third in Otepaeae, Estonia.
"We knew it was just a matter of time before any of us got it. It's just so good to be part of this surge. It makes the good times more special," Randall said. "We've had success and we all support each other so much, so you know we'll have more success."
Jacobsen, who won the women's 15-kilometer freestyle race on Saturday, now has 380 points and leads the overall World Cup standings ahead of teammates Marit Bjorgen (312) and Vibeke Skofterud (234).
In the men's race, Anders Gloersen led a Norwegian 1-5 sweep with a time of 2:29.3.
Tor Arne Hetland, who finished fourth, moved to second place in the World Cup overall standings with 234 points. Axel Teichmann of Germany, who skipped the event, leads the standings with 260 points after 7 of 31 races.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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