Scandinavians start World Cup cross-country season with wins

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RUKA, Finland (AP) Scandinavians dominated the men's and women's 1.4-kilometer sprints on Saturday in the season's World Cup cross-country opener.

In the men's event, Paal Golberg of Norway clocked 2:54.12, followed by Calle Halfvarsson of Sweden 75 seconds back. Norwegian skier Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo was third, 87 seconds behind Golberg.

In the women's event, Stina Nilsson of Sweden covered the distance in 3:21.61, beating Maiken Caspersen Falla and Heidi Weng, both of Norway, by 17 and 69 seconds respectively.

Athletes were challenged by snowfall, making it hard to stay in the tracks. Both Nilsson - who claimed her first win in classic technique - and Golberg proved strongest on the final stretch to the finish.