In what was dubbed “Epic Thursday” at the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships, U.S. cross-country skiers Jessica Diggins and Kikkan Randall had finishes worthy of the title. Diggins and Randall raced to second and third in the sprint final taking home silver and bronze for the United States.
The finish marks the first time multiple U.S. athletes have won individual medals in a single cross-country event at a world championship, something they have yet to achieve at an Olympic Games.
Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla ran away with the sprint gold crossing the finish line in 3 minutes 02.34 seconds.
Diggins was impressive in the sprint winning both her quarterfinal and semifinal heats on the way to the final, where she claimed silver crossing the finish line 1.66 seconds off the lead.
Randall was forced to sweat it out after her quarterfinal heat, advancing to the semis as one of two lucky losers. In her semifinal race, Randall was pinched behind a trio of racers – Sweden’s Stina Nilsson, Russia’s Natalia Matveeva along with Falla of Norway – fighting for the lead. As they rounded toward the finish, Nilsson lost her edge and fell, bringing down Matveeva on her way to the ground. Randall sped past the pileup, taking second and a spot in the final on her way to the bronze.
Team USA’s men struggled in Finland in the sprints. Simeon Hamilton appeared to be in position to advance to the semifinals, but in his quarterfinal heat a miscue on one of the final hills caused him to tangle his skis with a fellow racer and fall to the snow. Andy Newell also failed to advance past the quarterfinals. Italy’s Federico Pellegrino won the gold with Russia’s Sergey Ustiugov taking silver and Norway’s Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo leaving with bronze.
The world championships continue from Finland on Friday with Nordic combined and men’s and women’s ski jumping, with cross-country skiing returning on Satruday with the men’s and women’s Skiathlon. Stream all the action live on NBCSports.com/live or the NBCSports app.