Norway’s seven-time world champion Therese Johaug won her second successive race back after an 18-month doping ban as she took victory in the 10 kilometres event at the Cross-Country World Cup in Lillehammer.
The 30-year-old athlete, winner of the 2010 Olympic title, won last Sunday (November 25) at the opening competition of the season in Kuusamo in Finland.
It was her first event in 988 days after testing positive in 2016 for the steroid Clostebol, which was said to have been contained in a lip cream she had used.
Today she was chased home by two Swedish athletes - Ebba Andersson, who finished 9.2 seconds behind her, and Charlotte Kalla, who was 15.2sec back.
"I heard that Ebba Andersson was close behind me so I had to work all the time", said Johaug, who finished in 26min 22.4sec.
“The track in Lillehammer is really tough - it’s hard, but I love it.”
Victory in the men’s event, raced over 15 kilometres, also went to a home athlete as Sjur Roethe won in 36:34.00, earning the second World Cup gold of his career ahead of compatriot Didrik Toenseth, who was six seconds behind.
Young Russian Denis Spitsov took the last spot on the podium.
Russia’s Lidia Iakovleva delivered the biggest surprise of the day in Lillehammer by winning the second women's Ski Jumping World Cup event of the season as she claimed her first win and top-10 finish.
It was only the second ever Russian World Cup win in this event following Irina Avvakumova’s success in January 2014.
Iakoveleva’s winning flourish followed another shock win on the previous day when Germany’s Julaine Seyfarth won her first World Cup gold at the 84th attempt.
Today, as yesterday, silver went to home jumper Maren Lundby, the Olympic champion, with third place going to Slovenia’s Ema Klinec.
Iakoveleva took a first round lead, and even though Lundy posted the longest jump of the day in the final round, with 101.5 metres, she managed to stay 4.9 points clear.
Apart from the surprise win for the young Russian, there was also a surprise when Japanese favourite Sara Takanashi was disqualified before the first competition round.
With the third leg of the Lillehammer triple still to come on the big hill tomorrow, Lundby holds the yellow bib as overall points leader with 160, ahead of Seyfarth, who finished fifth today to reach 145 points, and Iakovleva, who has 132 points.
Norway's Nordic combined specialist Jarl Magnus Riiber won his second World Cup in as many days as he followed yesterday's individual Gundersen five-kilometres event victory with another in the mass start, which was making a return to the World Cup format after almost ten years.
As on the previous day, Riiber finished ahead of Germany’s individual Olympic champion on the last two occasions, Eric Frenzel, and Frenzel’s compatriot Fabian Rießle took bronze.
In a reverse of the previous day’s order, the event began with the mass start race over 10 kilometres, which was won by home skier Magnus Krog in 24:28.7.
Riessle finished second, 6.1 seconds behind, which translated to minus 1.5 points as they went into the afternoon’s jumping.
Frenzel started his jumping with a -2.5sec handicap after finishing third, while Riiber had 6.5 seconds to make up after finishing fifth.
As on the previous day, the 21-year-old home athlete proved supreme in the jumping, setting the only effort of the day that hit the 100 metres mark.
With a points total of 131.8, Riiber finished the event 8.1 points ahead of Frenzel on 131.8, with the German repeating his previous day’s second best effort with a jump of 95 metres, leaving him on 123.7 points.
Riessle was third with an effort of 93 metre effort, just 0.1 points behind his compatriot.
Last year’s World Cup winner Akito Watabe of Japan produced a jump of 94.5m that lifted him from ninth to fourth place overall.