Poland’s Kowalczyk wins ladies’ 30km mass start


Justyna Kowalczyuk of Poland earned her third medal of the Olympics, as she won the gold medal in the ladies’ 30km mass start in a time of 1:30:33.7 at Whistler Olympic Park earlier Saturday.

A race that is a test of endurance and strength, came right down to a final sprint for the gold between Kowalczyk and Marit Bjoergen of Norway, who have been rivals on the World Cup circuit.

Kowalczyk held on and crossed the line in a photo finish, as she denied the Norweigan of her fourth gold medal of the Games beating her by a one minute 0.3-second margin.

Aino-Kaisa of Finland rounded off the podium, earning the bronze medal with a time of 1:31:38.7 seconds.

Canada’s Sara Renner completed her last race as an Olympian with a 16th place finish.

The Alberta native is known for the infamous ski-pole incident at the 2006 Winter Games; where the Norwegian coach generously gave her a ski pole after hers had been broken by a competitor. Renner and teammate Beckie Scott went on to win the silver medal.

Racing in her fourth and final Olympics, Renner has decided to retire as a skier to focus on her family.

26-year-old Madelaine Williams of Canmore, Alberta, also competed in the race and placed 46th.