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Canada's Alex Harvey can't keep pace in Norwegian sweep of cross-country skiathlon

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — Canada's Alex Harvey didn't have enough to keep up with a trio of Norwegian cross-country skiers on Sunday.

Harvey finished eighth in the men's 30-kilometre cross-country skiathlon at the Pyeongchang Games with three Norwegians sweeping the podium.

Simen Hegstad Krueger crashed and fell on the first lap before taking gold with Martin Johnsrud Sundby taking silver and Hans Christer Holund earning bronze.

"The victory was played with three kilometres left. With 1.5 kilometres left, I was in the perfect spot for the silver," Harvey said. "I just did not have the legs. It is disappointing. I can only blame myself."

Harvey was competing in his third and final Olympics. The 29-year-old from St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Que., finished in one hour 16 minutes 53.4 seconds.

The 24-year-old Krueger crossed the line in 1:16:20 and looked to the heavens and repeatedly pumped his fists in the air after crossing the finish line.

Devon Kershaw of Sudbury, Ont., was 36th, Graeme Killick of Fort McMurray, Alta., was 45th and Knute Johnsgaard from Whitehorse was 62nd.

"I was confident before (Sundby and Holund) pushed the pace, but I was surprised by their speed," Harvey added. "I was able to follow them in the first half of the climb, but then I broke down."

Just seconds after the mass start began and with skiers still bottled up in lines, Krueger appeared to slip in mid-stride and his right ski came out from under him, causing him to fall to the ground. The two skiers directly behind him — Andrey Larkov and Denis Spitsov, Russians competing under the Olympic flag — couldn't stop and toppled over him in a heap.

Spitsov also recovered from the fall and nearly medalled, finishing in fourth place.

Harvey said that conditions weren't an issue and that the first three quarters of the race were relatively easy.

"Sure it was windy, but no one wanted to push," he said. "It was more difficult towards the end. The last five minutes were really tough."


— With files from The Associated Press

The Canadian Press

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