Sports

Winter Olympics results: Women's cross-country skiing 4x5km relay

US team faces tough competition

America's best chance for a cross-country skiing medal at the PyeongChang Olympics came Saturday in the women's 4x5km relay, which consists of four legs with each skier completing one 5-kilometer lap

The American women were unable to come away with a medal, but finished among the top teams. Team USA finished 5th, 1:20.5 behind the gold medal team from Norway, which edged Sweden by 2-seconds. The Olympic Athletes from Russia team finished with the silver. Finland edged out the USA for 4th in the 14 team field.

The USA was led by Jessie Diggins, a 26-year-old Afton, Minnesota, native  who is back for her second Olympics, and has had the best Games so far in PyeongChang.

She finished fifth in both the 15-kilometer skiathlon and the 10km freestyle, the best Olympic finish ever for a U.S. women's cross-country skier, and was sixth in the sprint classic.

Diggins came to PyeongChang peaking at the right time. She won her final World Cup race before the Olympics, a 10km freestyle mass start on Jan. 28, and is currently third in the overall World Cup standings.

The rest of the team consisted of five-time Olympian Kikkan Randall, 35, of Anchorage, Alaska, and two-time Olympians in Sadie Bjornsen, 28, of Winthrop, Washington, and Sophie Caldwell, 27, of Peru, Vermont.

The U.S. was seen as having a chance at a medal in 2014, but ultimately finished ninth with a team that included Diggins, Bjornsen, Randall and Liz Stephen. That was elevated to eighth after Russian skier Yuliya Ivanova was disqualified in November 2017.

They've finished second or third in several World Cup relays over past five years and fourth-place relay finishes at each of the past three world championships.

No American woman has ever won an Olympic cross-country skiing medal and the U.S. overall hasn't won an Olympic medal in cross-country skiing since Bill Koch won 30km silver in 1976.


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