Estonia claims third gold in cross country

Estonia has won its third gold medal in Winter Olympics cross country skiing, this time in the men’s 15-kilometer classical competition in Turin, Italy.

In what were reported to be blizzard conditions at the Pragelato Plan venue, Andrus Veerpalu of Estonia on Feb. 17 finished the distance in 38 minutes, 1.3 seconds, leaving 97 other competitors—including three Latvians—in his wake. Veerpalu also took the gold medal in the 2002 games in Salt Lake City.

Latvia’s Valts Eiduks finished 69th in a time of 44:12.0, Intars Spalviņš was 76th with a time of 45:13.4, and Oļejs Andrejevs was 78th with a time of 45:44.2, according to the official Web site of the Winter Olympics,

The silver medal went to Lukas Bauer of the Czech Republic and the bronze to Tobias Angerer of Germany.

Estonia’s other two gold medals belong to Kristina Smigun, who on Feb. 12 won the ladies’ 15-kilometer pursuit and on Feb. 16 won the ladies’ 10-kilometer classical event. Latvia did not compete in either of those events.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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