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Stina Nilsson and Federico Pellegrino win cross-country World Cup sprints

First placed Sweden’s Stina Nilsson, centre, second placed Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla, left, and third placed Norway’s Heidi Weng celebrate after the women’s 1.4 km sprint qualification event at the FIS Cross Country World Cup in Falun, Sweden, Saturday Jan. 28, 2017. (Ulf Palm / TT via AP)
First placed Sweden’s Stina Nilsson, centre, second placed Norway’s Maiken Caspersen Falla, left, and third placed Norway’s Heidi Weng celebrate after the women’s 1.4 km sprint qualification event at the FIS Cross Country World Cup in Falun, Sweden, Saturday Jan. 28, 2017. (Ulf Palm / TT via AP)
Associated Press

FALUN, Sweden – Sweden’s Stina Nilsson and Federico Pellegrino of Italy won the women’s and men’s 1.4-kilometer sprint events in the cross-country skiing World Cup on Saturday.

Nilsson won in 3 minutes, 24 seconds, beating Maiken Caspersen Falla of Norway by one-hundredth of a second in a photo finish.

“It was so close and it was very icy,” Nilsson said. “I’m so glad that I had one-hundredth of a second in my advantage.”

Norwegian Heidi Weng was third, 1.88 seconds behind Nilsson, and continues to lead the overall women’s World Cup standings.

Nilsson has been on good form – with six of her nine career World Cup wins coming this season – but had never before won a race in her home country.

Saturday’s race also underlined Nilsson’s status as a sprint freestyle specialist, having now won five of the last 11 such events in the World Cup over the last three seasons.

Pellegrino took his first season victory in 2:45.77, beating two Norwegians – Emil Iversen was 0.06 behind and Sindre Bjoernestad Skar a further 0.41 back.

It was the Italian’s first World Cup win of a difficult season after seven sprint freestyle victories in 2015-16.

“This season is not so easy right now for me but I think I’m going the right way,” Pellegrino said. Norway’s Martin Johnsrud Sundby continues to lead the men’s World Cup standings.

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