24/02/2018 Winter Olympics Extra


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24/02/2018

On the penultimate day, there's action from the gruelling 50km race in the cross-country skiing, as well as a new event at the Olympics, the mass start speed skating.


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LineFromTo

Hello, and welcome

to the penultimate day

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of the Winter Olympics.

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And there's still plenty

of sport to come before

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we all pack up and head home.

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Later in the programme,

we'll have highlights of one

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of the new events at these Games,

with the mass start speed skating.

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But first, Andrew Musgrave made

British cross-country history

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with a seventh place finish

in his first event of the Games.

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Now he takes part in his last, and

the most gruelling, the men's 50km.

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Ollie Williams and Rob Walker

are your commentators.

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Ollie Williams and Rob Walker

are your commentators.

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We will keep our eye on Andrew

Musgrave and he -- if he is not up

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amongst the leaders we will try and

keep you posted on his split times

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if he is out of vision. Plenty of

stories and plenty of opportunities.

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Iivo Niskanen, we have over two

hours to talk about him and the best

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of the rest. He is the reigning

world champion in the 15 kilometres,

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and interestingly enough... There is

Mattie hike in, he got a bronze in

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the World Championships. Niskanen

opted not to start the Olympic race

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because he has placed so much

attention and focus on the 50 in his

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preparation. No exaggeration to say

that this is the title that he wants

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and no fin has won this since 1950.

Tier he has been targeting it for

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four years. He had the World

Championships on home snow last year

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in Finland and that was a huge boost

to him.

This race is everything he

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has been planning.

He is a big star,

and it is going to be a big contest

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today between Dario: you and Alex

Harvey -- Dario Cologna. There are

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many contenders. A last chance

perhaps for Harvey. He completed the

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one, two, three for Sweden, Hans

Christer Holund. The question is not

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about the ability of Sundby but how

tired he is. Alexey Poltoranin,

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however, is on relatively fresh eggs

so they could put down the hammer

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early and try and hurt the likes of

Sundby, knowing how much mileage you

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already has in his legs from this

fortnight.

The only reason I think

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they might not do that is because of

the wind. The windy nature of today

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could hamper the ability for people

to get to the front. Niskanen says

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if it is windy he will not try a

break at the front and it is quite

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breezy on the exposed course right

now. John Mark Guyot of France has

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an outside chance of doing

something. Andrew Marr 's golf is --

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Andrew Musgrave is going to be bare

handed for this entire 50 K!

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Here we go, the longest and arguably

the hardest event on the

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cross-country Winter Olympic

programme. The men's 50 kilometre

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classic is underway. It will take

the gold and silver and bronze

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medallist well over two hours to

take and stake their claim on the

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podium. It is a bit like a

world-class marathon. You do not win

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it in the very early stages, but you

can certainly cost yourself some

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energy if you get it wrong in the

early stages. The really interesting

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thing at the beginning is going to

be if we get one or two of the guys

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who have specifically and publicly

targeted this race, I wonder how

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early they might try and turn the

screw here and just let the others

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know that they are here and that

this is the one in which they mean

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business.

It will be interesting to

see when they do that. This could be

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quite a slow race because the snow

is quite dirty and it is not the

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fresh snow they will race on all

season and it might make it slower.

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I am not sure that too many people

given the wind will be looking to

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push on from the start. You have to

be hard -- carefully that mass start

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like this that there are so many

bodies and colliding with someone

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now, we have seen it happen in

several races already that you will

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have to lose time and you might

break a poll. All that kind of

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thing. We have seen people come back

from Matt to win a gold-medal but it

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is unusual to do that and you do not

want it to disrupt your start so you

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will see people being quite cautious

at the start following these loans

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out and it will take a little while

for us to develop any sense of who

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will seize the initiative. Iivo

Niskanen leads from Alexey

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Poltoranin and they are two of the

men who are really fancy to stop the

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dominance of the Swedish skiers. His

sister is

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sister is also a world-class skier.

I guess the only argument against

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Iivo Niskanen being the joint

favourite for this because it is the

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one he is

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one he is targeting what he has

produced so far here. He was

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disappointed with 19th in the

skiathlon and only 14 in the sprint.

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He was very vocal before even when

we came for our research week before

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the games began, he gave a very

candid press conference saying the

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real gold medal here is the 50

kilometres on the penultimate day

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and that is the one you really have

to worm and he has been really vocal

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about targeting it and he is clearly

up for it. I am not saying it is a

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concerted bid to break the field but

he is clearly confident that he

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wants to dominate the early

proceedings ante is not confident in

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the Norwegians having it all their

own way in the early stages.

We have

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a gap starting to open between the

front group of about 15 or 20.

He is

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certainly making his presence felt

at the front and Sundby is

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recognising that he is a danger man

so he has decided to respond little

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bit.

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bit. Look at that, the three

Russians are all in our line. The

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cameras are focusing in on Dario

Cologna, he is a four-time Olympic

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champion and he is going for number

five. It is an event in which he has

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always been unlucky. This can and is

having a little probe off the front

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here and he is undermining his class

and his desire to take the title.

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That is an excellent way to phrase

it, it is a little probe, just

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pushing off the front of little bit.

You can see Sundby on the left,

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wearing number four and very close

to others but I wonder what is left

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in his tank. I think Norway will be

looking to the second half of the

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race and their experience and what

they have done so far and they will

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maybe be looking to Niklas Dyrhaug.

Iivo Niskanen is still putting

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everything in and he is looking

relatively fresh to me. It looks

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like Niskanen and Alexey Poltoranin

are not breaking themselves to get

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up this hill but they are applying

pressure. Alexander Bolshunov is

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trying to do something about the

gap. It ticks down a few seconds and

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if he gets himself on the podium in

this race it would really confirm

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him as the new star of Russian

skiing because he has already looked

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so good, and to do it again here at

the age of 21 would be really

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something.

A change of skis for

Alexander Bolshunov. Into the pits

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and a new set on as quickly as you

can reasonably do it. A bit of a

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fudge with his right-hand ski but we

are away.

It is a great piece of

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France skiing from Iivo Niskanen.

Alexey Poltoranin is really hurting.

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There is no other reason why the man

from Kazakhstan who was vocal about

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targeting this race is no other

reason he would let this much space

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grow between him and the Finn. The

infection of pace has thus far

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claimed another casualty and Alexey

Poltoranin now finds himself locked

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together with the talented

21-year-old Alexander Bolshunov who

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at the last checkpoint was over half

a minute ahead of Sundby and Hans

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Christer Holund for fifth and sixth

and he will have to do this last 20

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K entirely on his own, even if

Skervin, if this is going to be gold

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he will let -- earn every single

ounce of the medal that will go

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around his neck in the ceremony

tomorrow night. Alexei under

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Bolshunov moves ahead of Alexey

Poltoranin.

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Poltoranin. Alexey Poltoranin may

not have another elections, he is

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likely to be selected for Kazakhstan

but in four years' time we be as

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competitive as now? He has never won

an Olympic medal and if now he is

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starting to sail away back into the

distance and his engine has gone, it

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is going to be crashing for him

because he has a world bronze medal

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in this race before but at the

Olympic level he would have loved to

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do something today. You can see he

is behind now but can you hold on

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for the medal here when there is so

far to go? Will he be hauled in, as

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the Norwegian duo and Alex Harvey of

Canada. Alex Harvey 's problem now

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has been that he has not had the

legs in this Olympics. He has been

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in a good place in the last few

Olympics and we have seen him at the

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halfway point and the gap is now

closing up on Iivo Niskanen at the

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front but only very gradually. You

can see him heading up on the list

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-- left. Alex Harvey has done well

here to keep the pace so far. He

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needs to avoid what happened to him

in the other races, losing that

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energy in the final third.

For

Bolshunov it now becomes an

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advantage to be the lighting -- that

young Russian and to be 21 years old

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because he will not be worrying

about the same things as Niskanen

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who knows this is his chance,

finally he has a 50 kilometres

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classic. It will be eight years

before the next one of these at the

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Winter Olympics because in four

years' time it will be a freestyle

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as these rotate. He will be 34 by

the time the next one comes around

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and he feels that now he is in his

prime. Bolshunov is 13 seconds back

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and he might feel his chances

slipping away. Bolshunov has three

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medals already at these Olympics and

probably other than hauling in

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Niskanen he doesn't have much of a

care in the world right now. The

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reason that his performances so

special and remarkable in this race

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is that he was on the podium in the

sprint as well and to be that

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competent over the short distance

and now trying to reel in Niskanen

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over the longest distance, it really

is worthy of note. Suddenly it is a

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very, very lonely race. You can see

now that it looks like Niskanen is

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having to work and struggling a bit

on the right ski up this hill.

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Bolshunov is well in touch and he

can seen this given ahead of him and

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even that, being able to see the

guy, makes a big, big difference

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when you are consuming like this,

knowing that your target is ahead of

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you and I think Bolshunov is looking

stronger coming up this climb as

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well. It is interesting, we are

approaching about 36 kilometres now

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of this 50 kilometre race. Iivo

Niskanen has given us such a

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gripping spectacle by forcing his

rival Paul to run into come with him

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off the front and creating this

massive gap and now Bolshunov fills

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that.

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that. Bolshunov now is just slowly

hauling in Iivo Niskanen and we are

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going to be in for quite some

finish. Really and truly one of the

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other story is -- stories is that

Dario Cologna has disappeared to two

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point three seconds behind -- two

minutes and 13 seconds behind. Even

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the Norwegians, we have recently had

Andrey Larkov go through the

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checkpoint two minutes behind and

they have lost 16 seconds on Iivo

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Niskanen. All the Norwegians are at

least two minutes behind and Iivo

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Niskanen, even if he is caught by

Alexander Bolshunov, it is

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incredible, what he has done to this

race and how it has left the

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Norwegians and Alex Harvey and Dario

Cologna in his rake -- week.

He has

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blown the field apart. He was as

good as his prerace predictions and

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he said it would go for it and he

said he was targeting gold in this,

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the hardest event. It is going to be

an agonising run in to the finish

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for Iivo Niskanen bad he cannot

afford to ease up because where

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everybody else is still falling

further behind him, Alexander

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Bolshunov, the 21-year-old from

Russia, is continuing to put the

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psychological pressure on Iivo

Niskanen. Every time, and he will

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have a few opportunities because it

is a twisting and turning course,

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every time it takes a left and or

are right and he will see that

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maroon shadow looming large. This is

real pressure now from the Russian.

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A little reminder if you haven't

watched Marcus Cross country and you

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don't who we are talking about, on

the left is Iivo Niskanen from

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Finland. He was fourth in the relay

and 19th in the sprint. A team

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sprint specialist from Sochi who

four years focusing entirely on

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winning this race here today. He was

the one who made the move and surged

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forward earlier than we thought

anyone would and he absolutely blew

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apart the field in this race. Up

until a few minutes ago he looks

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like he was totally untouchable for

the remaining ten or 15 kilometres.

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However the man you see appear

behind him now, wearing number

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seven, is Alexander Bolshunov, the

Olympic Athletes from Russia. Russia

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Posner various issues in the last

year or two have allowed him to come

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here and become at the age of only

21 essentially the leading light of

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Russian cross-country skiing. He has

delivered a silver in the relay and

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a silver in the team sprint and

bronze in the sprint and now he is

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impressing so much once again

because he has hauled in Iivo

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Niskanen and now there is virtually

no gap at all with just about 12.5

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kilometres to go.

We have a duel on

our hands. All of the others are

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slipping further and further behind

this fabulous Finn but Bolshunov has

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worked his way up from the middle of

the lead pack and inch by inch and

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second by second he has closed the

gap. This is where we get to see the

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extent of the eagerness can and

resolve. He will definitely be

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hurting. It would be impossible for

him not to feel the effects of the

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savage pace that has decimated a

world-class field, including Dario

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Cologna, oh at the last checkpoint

was far off three minutes off the

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pace and at some stage this has got

to take a toll on Iivo Niskanen,

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even when you bear in mind that he

will have the adrenaline of knowing

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he is leading and knowing he is in

with a shout of what would be the

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biggest victory of his career. What

about Alexey Poltoranin?

He is now

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50 seconds adrift and now it is

equally impressive that a 21 your

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old selected for the Olympic at the

door of Russia team has been able,

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unlike so many more experienced and

better on paper contenders,

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Alexander Bolshunov has been able to

match him, not by heading out with

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this given but with letting him get

the best part of three quarters of a

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minute ahead and then bringing him

back. For the first time in such a

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long time this can and have someone

to work within the front but equally

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it could lose a gold medal to them.

That makes this a really important

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strategic time now for both of these

athletes. This Canon has more

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experience of these races but

Bolshunov may have more left in him

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for the remaining kilometres.

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for the remaining kilometres.

These

are huge moments or Iivo Niskanen of

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Finland. His bold strategy, his

passion for this distance, and for

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the history of this event, led him

to make a decision to go very, very

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hard before the halfway stage. It

has worked in all but one regard. He

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has got rid of everybody who stands

in his way of this gold medal that

0:19:390:19:43

he so desperately craves. But

Bolshunov has played a very smart

0:19:430:19:49

game. He has clawed his way back

towards the flying Finn and done so

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gradually and done so with the real

tactical maturity that belies his

0:19:550:20:03

years, only 21 years of age and he

has got great range and brilliant

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acceleration, otherwise he would not

have been in the podium with the

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team sprint with the silver or the

silver in the relay or the bronze in

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the individual sprint. But the

question now is how does Iivo

0:20:150:20:21

Niskanen respond to this situation?

Not so much physically but mentally.

0:20:210:20:27

You are miles clear and pulling away

from everyone. It is a great

0:20:270:20:31

situation. Even though the body

starts to feel it you know your

0:20:310:20:34

tactic is working and you can start

to think about the glorious run into

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the finish but now he has to hang

on. Does he play a smart game here?

0:20:370:20:44

If he is feeling OK physically, and

he will get tired at some stage,

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does he now refuse to help the

Russian? Does he tucked in behind

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him and start thinking about going

for a massive splint -- sprint

0:20:550:20:58

towards the end? Alexey Poltoranin

is definitely getting tied in third

0:20:580:21:04

and he is now more than a minute

behind these two. Will change of

0:21:040:21:09

skis come into the mix to influence

the proceedings the last ten K? This

0:21:090:21:16

is the moment where the questions

are being asked and it will be

0:21:160:21:20

fascinating to see how Niskanen

responds.

The waxing is going on

0:21:200:21:25

now. His team are preparing the skis

so it is like cutting to the pit

0:21:250:21:29

lane in the F1 coverage and seeing

them about the tyres. We know that

0:21:290:21:34

Niskanen will come in for the skis

and the Finnish team have been

0:21:340:21:36

looking at this race and looked at

the conditions and they know the

0:21:360:21:39

conditions have changed and Diaz got

cold out

0:21:390:21:48

cold out there and they will now try

to adapt to that and say, OK, what

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does he need honestly to finish this

race? The same applies to Bolshunov.

0:21:510:21:54

They look like there is quite a pace

coming on between them. An update on

0:21:540:21:57

the British contenders in this race,

Andrew Musgrave came through the 35

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kilometres checkpoint at 45th, nine

minutes back from the leader. Calum

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Smith was further back at 58 just a

few moments ago.

Two questions here.

0:22:050:22:15

If Niskanen comes in for a pit stop

will the new skis with the wax make

0:22:150:22:20

a difference? Also, will the fact

that he takes a pit stop, assuming

0:22:200:22:26

he does, give this man from Russia

and opportunity to accelerate and

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create a gap for the first time?

That will be fascinating over this

0:22:310:22:38

next 150 metres or so.

It creates an

entirely new dramatic -- dynamic

0:22:380:22:43

because now with Niskanen comes in

you will have Bolshunov out alone

0:22:430:22:48

and suddenly he is not the one doing

the chasing, which he has been for

0:22:480:22:51

most of this race, he is the one

being chased and he needs to change

0:22:510:22:55

mindset as well because even now,

when there are two of you together,

0:22:550:23:00

it is a different mindset as to

whether you stop and you can see

0:23:000:23:03

that Niskanen will peel off now and

Bolshunov will go off out alone as

0:23:030:23:08

Niskanen comes in for the change. He

is quite measured and taking time a

0:23:080:23:12

little bit and Rob has a different

interpretation of that to me. I

0:23:120:23:20

thought Niskanen kept is calm in

that change and he came out again

0:23:200:23:23

but he has distanced to make up and

now what does Bolshunov do? He has

0:23:230:23:30

an 11 second gap by virtue of the

stop. How will Alexander Bolshunov,

0:23:300:23:36

21 years old and in his first

Olympics, how will you handle that

0:23:360:23:40

gap and this pressure?

Compared to

some of the other pit stops we have

0:23:400:23:47

seen, it took maybe a second or two

longer certainly than we saw for

0:23:470:23:53

Sundby who had a brilliant pit stop

in the early stages of the race.

0:23:530:23:58

Alexey Poltoranin is falling further

adrift and getting closer to

0:23:580:24:03

Niskanen because he lost ground

after that pit stop. The man from

0:24:030:24:09

Kazakhstan is completely isolated on

his own in third place but at the

0:24:090:24:11

moment he has a gap of more than one

minute on the chase group that

0:24:110:24:18

contained two Norwegians and the

Russian and the man from Canada. The

0:24:180:24:22

question here is how helpful was the

change of skis? Is the improved grip

0:24:220:24:28

on the snow worth the 11 seconds

that it cost Iivo Niskanen to make

0:24:280:24:33

that pit stop? I think with the

naked eye he is closing the gap.

0:24:330:24:38

That could be significant. Here come

the chasers. You have the likes of

0:24:380:24:46

Andrei Lobkov, followed by Alex

Harvey, Hans Christer Holund and

0:24:460:24:51

Martin Johnsrud Sundby. These guys

are good enough that on a different

0:24:510:24:54

race on a different day this was

always sprint for gold and silver

0:24:540:24:57

and bronze but we have three very,

very bold men who have gone

0:24:570:25:01

extremely barred extremely early and

they are not closing either on

0:25:010:25:07

Alexey Poltoranin or Iivo Niskanen

or Alexander Bolshunov. Fourth and

0:25:070:25:11

fifth and sixth and seventh could be

all they get in that quarter.

That

0:25:110:25:17

shows how perfect the timing was

from Iivo Niskanen. The only thing

0:25:170:25:20

that has gone wrong, and may not

have been permanently wrong, what

0:25:200:25:25

Alexander Bolshunov could stay with

him and has now moved ahead because

0:25:250:25:29

of the pit stop. Iivo Niskanen 's

timing and the way he broke apart

0:25:290:25:34

the field has proved over the

ensuing almost one hour since he did

0:25:340:25:39

it, to have been a perfect decision

in terms of taking out, well, Dario

0:25:390:25:46

Cologna is already more than a

minute back in the Norwegian

0:25:460:25:49

challenge has completely disappeared

and show no sign of life and Alex

0:25:490:25:52

Harvey is wrapped up in that as well

and Alexey Chervotkin has also been

0:25:520:25:58

dropped by the chasing pack a long

time ago and only Bolshunov was able

0:25:580:26:01

to keep up with this man and a gap

is now down to six seconds and Iivo

0:26:010:26:06

Niskanen through a switch of skis is

now reeling back in the Russian and

0:26:060:26:11

we really are going to have an

amazing finish.

It could be very,

0:26:110:26:17

very exciting as they head towards

the business end of the race. All

0:26:170:26:22

credit to Iivo Niskanen, not just in

terms of the tactics of changing

0:26:220:26:26

skis, but also not folding mentally

after seeing the 21-year-old Russian

0:26:260:26:32

close down the huge lead that he had

worked so hard to generate.

0:26:320:26:36

Bolshunov is still in front of

course. Niskanen is trying to make

0:26:360:26:43

his way back up onto the shoulder of

the new leader and with every push

0:26:430:26:49

and every drive he is closing. The

gap is only now for seconds. Alexey

0:26:490:26:57

Poltoranin is miles behind, the

Kazakhstan is in third. This is

0:26:570:27:02

two-way battle for Olympic glory

here on the stunning tracks of

0:27:020:27:07

Pyeongchang.

You can see how the

conditions are deteriorating out on

0:27:070:27:12

the course as well, the Herald has

played such a huge part in this

0:27:120:27:18

whole Olympics. Every race that Hill

is been used to the advantage. Will

0:27:180:27:29

it be Bolshunov or Niskanen that has

enough left to use that hell as they

0:27:290:27:33

get closer and closer to it in the

final stages of this race?

I think

0:27:330:27:42

the dynamic between the two groups

their shows you for the very first

0:27:420:27:45

time that these two are tired. They

will not be caught by the chase

0:27:450:27:49

group who are over two minutes

behind but these two are tired,

0:27:490:27:55

mentally and physically. They are

almost a spent force but one of them

0:27:550:28:00

is going to find something here in

the very closing stages that will be

0:28:000:28:04

remembered forever. Alexander

Bolshunov, the 21-year-old from

0:28:040:28:12

Russia, has skied a brilliant

tactical race. He has not gone with

0:28:120:28:16

the early pace of Enniskillen and he

worked his way back here to the

0:28:160:28:20

Flying Finn who now taxes every move

and talk about history, has no Finn

0:28:200:28:26

has won this title since 1960. The

weight of history is on Evo Niskanen

0:28:260:28:35

shoulders and a nation will be

tuning in life to watch their young

0:28:350:28:40

hero from back home. He is quite a

character Antico owns a racehorse

0:28:400:28:46

and his sister is an Olympic

medallist and Iivo Niskanen himself

0:28:460:28:51

took the gold in the team sprint but

this is different and this gold

0:28:510:28:54

would be his and his alone and it

would be an amazing slice of Winter

0:28:540:28:58

Olympic history of something that

has not been done by a Finn in

0:28:580:29:01

almost 50 years.

They're behind,

that front duo, we have potentially

0:29:010:29:11

a bronze medallist in there

somewhere. You will note that we

0:29:110:29:15

have no Alexey Poltoranin in that

shot. It looks like it is now a

0:29:150:29:20

straight four way battle between

Sundby in for. Alex Harvey, Andrey

0:29:200:29:29

Larkov and Hans Christer Holund.

Somewhere in that is your bronze

0:29:290:29:33

medallist and here are your gold and

silver medallists. It is just a case

0:29:330:29:37

of which way it will be. Wearing

eight, Iivo Niskanen, a man whose

0:29:370:29:42

life's work and even the last four

years work has been to get this

0:29:420:29:46

Olympic gold. None of the other

Olympic golds, this Olympic gold. In

0:29:460:29:51

front of him at 21-year-old in

Alexander Bolshunov who has a whole

0:29:510:29:55

career out of him but has exploded

onto the scene at this Olympics with

0:29:550:30:00

a series of impressive performances

and he is

0:30:000:30:07

and he is already home with three

medals, but none of them are gold.

0:30:110:30:13

One of these two will win an Olympic

title for the first time in their

0:30:130:30:16

career and we are just about to find

out who.

If you have never watched

0:30:160:30:20

cross-country skiing before it does

not matter. What is there not to

0:30:200:30:24

admire about two young men putting

years and years of their life on the

0:30:240:30:31

line for a chance to make history?

Iivo Niskanen has blown this entire

0:30:310:30:37

field apart. He has been so gutsy

and Zoe Ball C and determined that

0:30:370:30:44

this slice of history is his but he

has not been able to get rid of the

0:30:440:30:50

maroon shadow who we can just about

see in these gloomy conditions in

0:30:500:30:54

Pyeongchang, Alexander Bolshunov,

three times he has been on the

0:30:540:31:00

podium here in Pyeongchang but this

is one that he wants. He has a

0:31:000:31:04

chance, the 21 year but it is just

too close to call at the moment and

0:31:040:31:08

will it come down to that massive

hill for the finish? These other

0:31:080:31:13

four men battling for the bronze,

with Andrey Larkov leading at the

0:31:130:31:17

moment and Sundby tucked in behind

him.

0:31:170:31:22

These four are coming through.

Sundby will not have his individual

0:31:220:31:25

Olympic title. We watch now.

Niskanen pulling away. He has that

0:31:250:31:29

team sprint from four years ago. He

wants an Olympic gold for himself on

0:31:290:31:34

his own. He's going now.

This is so

gutsy from Iivo Niskanen. But that's

0:31:340:31:41

how he skied this entire race. He

went to the front, right at the

0:31:410:31:48

start and after seeing his lead

erode, after changing skis, he's

0:31:480:31:54

maintained his focus and his

tactical composure. He's gone early

0:31:540:31:57

here. He's gone hard.

0:31:570:32:04

here. He's gone hard.

The Olympic

Athletes from Russia Alexander

0:32:050:32:07

Bolshunov is slipping a bit.

He's

trying to hold on. He got the

0:32:070:32:11

individual wro bronze in the sprint.

He's quick. But this man is being

0:32:110:32:14

driven on by a nation and by the

weight of history. No Finn has taken

0:32:140:32:20

this title in over half a century.

He's broken Bolshunov. Bolshunov

0:32:200:32:23

sits up. He knows he has been beaten

in this battle for the gold medal.

0:32:230:32:32

You don't often see an athlete

giving way like that. I think it

0:32:320:32:36

shows you just how much it had taken

out of Bolshunov to close that gap

0:32:360:32:40

in the first place.

We see Niskanen

moving up this hill. We this might

0:32:400:32:46

be where Bolshunov would be broken.

Bolshunov behind him now renews the

0:32:460:32:51

attack. The gap is there now.

Niskanen accelerated. As Rob says,

0:32:510:32:55

so unusual to see an athlete simply

say, I can't match that. That is it.

0:32:550:33:01

After 48 kilometers I have not got

what it takes to stay with that man.

0:33:010:33:06

Niskanen goes up this hill for a

final time at this Olympic Games.

0:33:060:33:10

Take as look behind him. Now the

dissent into the the arena towards a

0:33:100:33:15

gold medal.

Niskanen takes that

sharp left hander. Takes it

0:33:150:33:23

carefully. Wants to stay on his

feet. Wants to saviour the moment of

0:33:230:33:28

a lifetime. He took a gold in the

Team Sprint four years ago. Before

0:33:280:33:34

these Games began, he said - this is

the title that every Winter Olympic

0:33:340:33:40

cross-country skier wants. This is

the event that's been in the Winter

0:33:400:33:44

Olympic programme since 1924. That's

why they've got the flags with his

0:33:440:33:49

face on it. This will be massive for

Finnish sport. An absolutely superb

0:33:490:33:55

performance from the Flying Finn.

Iivo Niskanen pulling away from

0:33:550:34:03

Bolshunov. He had the heart, the

desire and mental strength and self

0:34:030:34:10

belief to pull away from a huge

field before halfway. Despite

0:34:100:34:14

Bolshunov putting him under pressure

it will be Iivo Niskanen's day. The

0:34:140:34:19

crowning moment of a glittering

career so far. He's orchestrating

0:34:190:34:24

the crowd over 50 years of history.

Finally, a Finn is back on top in

0:34:240:34:31

this most gruelling of vents. Iivo

Niskanen writes his name in the

0:34:310:34:38

all-time Winter Olympic greats in

this event. All credit to Alexander

0:34:380:34:43

Bolshunov, he is absolutely

shattered. He looks disappointed. He

0:34:430:34:48

was the only man in the entire field

who could do anything to put

0:34:480:34:52

Niskanen under pressure. There's no

disgrace with yet another silver for

0:34:520:34:57

him because it's all gold for

Niskanen.

We cut back now to our

0:34:570:35:02

race for the bronze medal, led by

Larkov. We will see in just a few

0:35:020:35:10

seconds' time how that turns out. We

take another look back at Niskanen.

0:35:100:35:15

Niskanen owned this entire race.

Niskanen delivered absolutely

0:35:150:35:20

everything that has made this race a

spectacle. He deserves that gold.

0:35:200:35:26

It's an incredible victory for him.

Larkov on the sprint. Sundby trying

0:35:260:35:33

to match him. Harvey out of it on

the right. Holund too far back.

0:35:330:35:39

Between Sundby and Larkov. Sundby on

the inside line. It looks like

0:35:390:35:43

Larkov has too much. Larkov will

reach the top of this hill in first

0:35:430:35:46

place. Is this going to decide this

battle for bronze between these

0:35:460:35:51

four? Will Larkov join Bolshunov on

the podium? It's looking like it

0:35:510:35:55

now.

That was an unbelievable piece

of acceleration up that brutal

0:35:550:36:02

incline. Even the great Sundby, who

has taken two gold medals here in

0:36:020:36:11

Pyeonchang could not respond.

Niskanen takes the glory, Bolshunov

0:36:110:36:14

the silver. It looks like we will

have another Olympic Athletes from

0:36:140:36:19

Russia on the podium. On this last

day of action for the men, it looks

0:36:190:36:24

as though, for the first time, we

don't have a Norwegian on the

0:36:240:36:27

podium. They have given it

everything, Sundby and Harvey of

0:36:270:36:35

Canada, who has had a fine

glittering career for the Canadians.

0:36:350:36:43

Not a met medal for him after years

of trying. Another Olympic Athletes

0:36:430:36:46

from Russia, it will be a bronze

medal for Andrey Larkov to go

0:36:460:36:51

alongside his Relay Silver. For all

the publicised reasons the Russians

0:36:510:36:59

turned to young athletes. That is

the sprint between Harvey and Sunday

0:36:590:37:03

sun. That is a sprint for fourth.

Doesn't that show you how much they

0:37:030:37:07

give to this sport and how much they

still care. Harvey took it from

0:37:070:37:11

Sundby by a whisker. A very tired

Holund comes across the line.

Larkov

0:37:110:37:18

is proud of that bronze. Bolshunov

still coming to terms with silver.

0:37:180:37:25

It's gold, a glorious gold for Iivo

Niskanen.

0:37:250:37:27

It's gold, a glorious gold for Iivo

Niskanen.

0:37:270:37:30

To a brand new Olympic

event, and it's the mass

0:37:300:37:32

start speed skating.

0:37:320:37:33

South Korea have two

real medal chances here,

0:37:330:37:35

so it's likely to be a brilliant

atmosphere in the Ganeung Oval.

0:37:350:37:38

Talking us through this one are

Simon Brotherton and Wilf O'Reilly.

0:37:380:37:41

COMMENTATOR: We are getting ready

for the women's mass start final. 16

0:37:420:37:47

skaters on the track here going for

gold.

0:37:470:37:52

Irene Schouten from the Netherlands.

Claudia Pechstein here as well. Nana

0:37:570:38:06

Takagi from Japan has a gold medal

in the Team Pursuit. Heather Bergsma

0:38:060:38:10

from the United States. The Olympic

final. The women's mass start. The

0:38:100:38:21

inaugural mass start final.

0:38:210:38:26

inaugural mass start final. The

world number one ranked skater at

0:38:260:38:29

the front. Based over three World

Cups at the moment. They have to

0:38:290:38:36

remain behind her for this first lap

of 16 laps. There are three sprints.

0:38:360:38:44

The winner of each sprint gets five

points, the second place gets three

0:38:440:38:49

points and the third place gets one

point. It's all about the skaters

0:38:490:38:54

that cross the line first, second

and third. The winner there gets 60

0:38:540:39:00

points, second, 40 points. Third, 20

points. The race is really on now.

0:39:000:39:13

Is she is going around the outside.

She is getting the racing animated

0:39:180:39:24

very early here.

It doesn't look

like anybody is going after her.

0:39:240:39:28

This could be very interesting

indeed.

0:39:280:39:34

indeed.

It's Saskia Alusalu.

Everyone looks at each other and

0:39:360:39:40

says, I will not chase. Then none

do. While they hesitate the person

0:39:400:39:45

who escaped gains considerable

ground which is exactly what Saskia

0:39:450:39:48

Alusalu is doing at the moment. They

are only coming round now. It's

0:39:480:39:54

almost a length of the straight.

First time the event has taken part

0:39:540:40:00

in the Olympic Games. I'm not sure

everybody knows what is happening.

0:40:000:40:02

If they allow her to get almost a

complete lap, I think it will be

0:40:020:40:07

very... It will be like in sigh

cycling, the second group would have

0:40:070:40:12

to work very hard to get that back

up eventually to close the gap.

0:40:120:40:18

There's about 200 meters difference

at the moment.

She is skating really

0:40:180:40:23

well here the 23-year-old. Her first

ever event at the Olympic Games.

0:40:230:40:26

Tenth in the world championship in

2015. 11th in the recent European

0:40:260:40:32

Championship. The first one to get

points on the board here in this

0:40:320:40:37

final of the mass sprint with 12

lapse to go. A quarter of the way

0:40:370:40:44

through it second over the line was

Li Dan. Third over the line will get

0:40:440:40:50

one point. The chase is on. As you

can see.

Even though there has been

0:40:500:40:56

five points awarded, it won't have

any effect on the final sprint,

0:40:560:41:03

there's still there. If we look at

the lap board. There are 11 laps to

0:41:030:41:09

go. Some considerable way to skate.

A lot of looking around. That is

0:41:090:41:20

among the main pack here. They are

carving out their way at the front,

0:41:200:41:26

Saskia Alusalu. The red, blue and

white of the Czech Republic there.

0:41:260:41:37

Keri Morrison just momentarily

nudging the Dutch woman who was just

0:41:370:41:40

in front of her there. Irene

Schouten the former world champion.

0:41:400:41:47

This is Annouk van der Weijden.

Claudia Pechstein from Germany was

0:41:470:41:51

second in line there. 46 now in the

autumn of her career. Nine Olympic

0:41:510:41:58

medals to her name. This is the

front of the race. Estonia.

That is

0:41:580:42:03

right.

Look at that. She is half a

lap ahead.

Still half a lap ahead.

0:42:030:42:12

She will have ten points. We know

it's quite important she doesn't win

0:42:120:42:16

the third sprint she would have 15

points. Still that would only

0:42:160:42:21

guarantee her fourth place.

She will

be time trialing her way around the

0:42:210:42:31

track here now as Li Dan leads the

chase, still with the leader coming

0:42:310:42:36

into the finish here now to scoop up

maximum points, once more. Roughly

0:42:360:42:43

half a lap advantage over the rest

of the field. Halfway through the

0:42:430:42:48

race, Saskia Alusalu has taken

maximum points. Here comes the

0:42:480:42:53

chase. Who will take three points.

It's Li Dan from China. Luiza

0:42:530:43:03

Zlotkowska gets a point as well.

Number 16.

Very important Simon that

0:43:030:43:07

now the speed of the remaining

chasing group keeps going. If they

0:43:070:43:13

now back off again, allow this

skater from Estonia to go through.

0:43:130:43:19

She could be in danger of going

away.

She might. I imagine she is

0:43:190:43:24

surprised to have gained the

advantage she has and be at the

0:43:240:43:28

front this deep into the race here.

All she can do is press on now.

0:43:280:43:34

Absolutely. Pechstein on the front

of this group here. Not really

0:43:340:43:39

putting any sort of speed into it at

all. They need to be very, very

0:43:390:43:43

careful indeed. There are still six

laps to go. It's still a

0:43:430:43:48

considerable way.

Just tucked in is

Heather Bergsma, Number Ten from the

0:43:480:43:56

USA. Tucked in behind her

compatriot, Manganello.

We could

0:43:560:44:09

have a surprise gold medallists.

Wouldn't it be amazing. They aren't

0:44:090:44:13

really going for it. Nobody is

taking responsibility here. Nobody

0:44:130:44:17

wants to do the lion's share of the

work.

Most of the countries have two

0:44:170:44:24

skaters. The skater from Estonia is

out there alone.

Well, she is

0:44:240:44:29

certainly going to take up the

points for the third time in a row

0:44:290:44:36

as Maryna Zuyeva from Belarus Russ

has had enough and will lead the

0:44:360:44:41

chase. The race is really on, at

last. The Netherlands is right

0:44:410:44:47

behind her. The gap, as you can see,

closing down already, but three

0:44:470:44:51

quarters of the way through it

another five points. She is up to 15

0:44:510:44:57

now, Saskia Alusalu.

0:44:570:45:03

They are starting to close in. Of

course it does take a lot of energy

0:45:060:45:10

to do that. Now the race is really

on now.

Manganello of the USA really

0:45:100:45:17

closing down with what is it just

about three laps to go.

As they come

0:45:170:45:23

to the three laps to go mark Alusalu

is about to be overtaken here. The

0:45:230:45:28

junction will be made. Manganello

leading the chase here. The

0:45:280:45:31

American. Here they come. Up towards

Alusalu. Also Schouten is well up

0:45:310:45:38

there for the Netherlands as well,

at the front of the race. This is a

0:45:380:45:43

powerful turn on the front by

Manganello. Bergsma from the United

0:45:430:45:46

States is in this race as well. It's

splitting up now. Manganello, strong

0:45:460:45:51

and powerful. Leading the way.

Looking very comfortable in second

0:45:510:45:56

place is Schouten from the

Netherlands.

Very comfortable. She

0:45:560:45:59

has been really going through the

turns with two arms up her back.

0:45:590:46:03

She's conserving a lot of energy

there. The ideal position, number

0:46:030:46:07

two at the moment.

0:46:070:46:13

two at the moment.

I The world

champion is in there for Korea. Kim

0:46:130:46:18

Bo-Reum is in a fine position now.

In third place is Irene Schouten.

0:46:180:46:24

The 2015 world champion, strides for

home. Nana Takagi is in second

0:46:240:46:29

place. On her shoulder is Number

Eleven, Kim Bo-Reum the world

0:46:290:46:33

champion from Korea. Italy can't

hold the piece pace of the three in

0:46:330:46:39

the front. Into the finishing

straight. The sprint is on. Nana

0:46:390:46:43

Takagi from Japan will get it.

Takagi on the line. Takagi take it

0:46:430:46:47

is for Japan. Kim Bo-Reum finishes I

think in second place. It's a photo

0:46:470:46:54

between Kim Bo-Reum and Irene

Schouten of the Netherlands. Nana

0:46:540:46:59

Takagi has her second gold of the

Games. What a spectacular sprint for

0:46:590:47:07

the line that was.

0:47:070:47:12

the line that was. Takagi from Japan

is the gold medallists. Kim Bo-Reum

0:47:130:47:18

from Korea takes the silver. Irene

Schouten from the Netherlands with

0:47:180:47:23

the bronze.

The speed that these

girls can finish with, it's amazing.

0:47:230:47:29

You saw there, Irene Schouten really

having a long sprint. She started

0:47:290:47:36

with about 250, 300 meters to go.

You can see Takagi, as they come

0:47:360:47:41

into the final 100 meters, makes a

small slip there.

That cost her,

0:47:410:47:47

didn't it?

Yep. Takagi I think was

in the best place there.

More than a

0:47:470:47:53

lap to go. She was right behind

Schouten. Confirmation then of the

0:47:530:47:58

result.

0:47:580:48:08

There we go with the last Olympic

final in the speed skating in the

0:48:080:48:14

Ganeung Oval. What a final it pros

promises to be the inall August

0:48:140:48:20

rallying mass start. The Olympic

title up for grabs. Will it go to a

0:48:200:48:27

sprinter here at the end of this

race. Linus Heidegger will lead them

0:48:270:48:36

out and Andrea Giovannini from

Italy, third in line.

None of the

0:48:360:48:42

other skaters in this first lap of

the 16 laps are allowed to pass the

0:48:420:48:51

Austrian, Heidegger. This helps to

set an order and helps the race to

0:48:510:48:56

settle down rather than being a mad

scramble from the gun? That's

0:48:560:49:00

correct. Looking at the two

semi-finals to come into the final.

0:49:000:49:08

If there is a skater who can go to

the front and stay there all day you

0:49:080:49:15

would

0:49:150:49:20

would think it would be Sven Kramer.

If it comes to the wire he doesn't

0:49:200:49:24

have the fire power to kick in.

He

will need to go for a long one,

0:49:240:49:28

isn't he, Kramer?

Yes. What

impressed me with Bart Swings coming

0:49:280:49:37

from in-line skating, multiple world

champion she was impressive in the

0:49:370:49:41

semi-finals.

He did.

0:49:410:49:49

Two Dutchmen there. Kramer on the

front.

Some of the countries have

0:49:490:49:55

two skaters. The Netherlands have

two skaters.

Korea.

Korea have two

0:49:550:50:00

skaters. There could be a bit of

team tactics as well.

Mikhailau

0:50:000:50:07

decides he's had enough of that and

looking at each other. Moved to the

0:50:070:50:13

front for the bell for the first

lap. 400 meters to the first points

0:50:130:50:19

on the line. Linus Heidegger from

Austria has gone with him.

0:50:190:50:28

Austria has gone with him.

They get

five points for these sprints.

0:50:300:50:33

Because the third placed skater gets

20 points. Sometimes they allow the

0:50:330:50:38

leading group, as we can see, to get

away.

0:50:380:50:45

away.

The points in the order of

five, three and one. It quickly

0:50:470:50:50

opened up a gap for them. On the

front of the main field it looks to

0:50:500:50:57

me as if that is Chung Jaewon.

Kramer third in line.

0:50:570:51:08

Kramer third in line. Peter Michael.

The Koreans may be talking about

0:51:080:51:14

team helping their team, team

skating. Chung is on the front. He's

0:51:140:51:18

not allowing the other three skaters

to skate away.

For Korea you would

0:51:180:51:30

think Lee Seung-Hoon would be their

big threat. The leading trio to be

0:51:300:51:34

overtaken. Wenger could sense the

dangeror. The danger provided by

0:51:340:51:39

Thorup. 13th in the world.

Championship last year, from

0:51:390:51:45

Denmark, Viktor Hald Thorup. He has

an eye on this sprint and taking the

0:51:450:51:49

sting from some of the legs out

there.

Sven Kramer will like this.

0:51:490:51:52

If the pace is quick all the way. It

will be really fatiguing some of the

0:51:520:51:57

sprinters.

The sort of race that

Sven Kramer would be hoping for.

0:51:570:52:07

Guam gap back to Mikhailau from

Belarus.

0:52:100:52:16

Mikhailau, bringing them round. That

looks like Linus Heidegger from

0:52:160:52:21

Austria still at the front of the

main pack, in second place. Here we

0:52:210:52:25

are at the front of the race.

0:52:250:52:29

Thorup from Denmark the instigator

of the attack.

Five points awarded

0:52:320:52:36

to him, of course. I think third was

there.

Heidegger.

Heidegger.

Thorup,

0:52:360:52:44

Wenger and Heidegger. Five, three

and one.

Interesting now what will

0:52:440:52:48

happen. Chung from Korea on that

second group.

Chung with Bart Swings

0:52:480:52:56

tucked in behind him from Belgium.

Michael there with number two on his

0:52:560:53:03

helmet. Then we have Stefan Due

Schmidt second Dane. Kramer is a

0:53:030:53:14

long way back.

0:53:140:53:19

long way back.

Olivier Jean back.

Coming from short track, good

0:53:200:53:23

sprinter. He would be somebody that

we have to keep an eye on.

Keeping

0:53:230:53:28

his powder dry towards the end. The

leading duo cross the line. The

0:53:280:53:32

advantage is far from an

insurmountable one. We have half a

0:53:320:53:37

dozen lapse to go here. This is the

chase group. There is Kramer. A long

0:53:370:53:41

way back in the line. I tell you who

else we haven't seen much, number

0:53:410:53:48

16, Joey Mantia of the United

States, the world champion. He's in

0:53:480:53:52

the main field keeping his powder

dry at the moment. One lap to go

0:53:520:53:59

until the next intermediat sprint.

This race is disappearing rapidly.

0:53:590:54:04

Chung has done an awful lot of work

on the front. Really it seems to be

0:54:040:54:10

clear the Koreans are setting it up

for Lee of Korea.

Mantia the world

0:54:100:54:21

champion tucked in behind Contin of

France. Wenger ahead of Thorup. Five

0:54:210:54:26

and three for those two. Third over

the line is Chung Jaewon from Korea.

0:54:260:54:32

We are into the last four lapse of

this race now. As you can see, the

0:54:320:54:37

race is really on. Chung Jaewon at

the front. Sven Kramer starts to

0:54:370:54:42

stretch his legs on the front.

Opening it up. Kramer is taking this

0:54:420:54:45

race on. The only way I think he

knows how.

That's right.

0:54:450:54:50

He needs to throw the gauntlet down

having a look at the lap board. How

0:54:500:54:56

many laps to go. Closing the gap

considerably. The Koreans go after A

0:54:560:55:02

frightening thought him.

For the

rest of the field. Especially the

0:55:020:55:04

sprinters.

He could draw this one out. Has he

0:55:040:55:09

got a long sprint and a long

purposeful effort here that just

0:55:090:55:14

blunt the speed of the real fast men

here in this race? Kramer now at the

0:55:140:55:19

front of the race with two laps to

go. The chase is on. The Dutchman

0:55:190:55:24

leads, down the back straight.

Bart

Swings moving around the outside.

0:55:240:55:32

Lee of Korea tucked in behind him.

Lee has got himself in a good

0:55:320:55:38

position here. The Korean. They take

the bell. Kramer overtaken. Swings

0:55:380:55:44

goes to the front. Lee Seung-Hoon

from Korea, Verweij for the

0:55:440:55:50

Netherlands.

They grit their teeth down the back

0:55:500:55:52

straight they go. Hitting the front

now is Lee Seung-Hoon for Korea.

0:55:520:55:57

He's got his eye on gold. He comes

round the bend for the last time.

0:55:570:56:01

The sprint for the line here. It's

going to be a home win. The first

0:56:010:56:06

Olympic champion in the mass sprint

is a Korean. It's Lee Seung-Hoon the

0:56:060:56:13

2016 world champion. The World Cup

number one is now the Olympic

0:56:130:56:17

champion. Lee Seung-Hoon takes the

gold gold. Bart Swings of Belgium

0:56:170:56:21

wins the silver. Koen Verweij of the

Netherlands takes the bronze.

Again,

0:56:210:56:28

that is excitement. This event has

really opened this, the medal tally.

0:56:280:56:37

Sven Kramer really set the race up

for Koen Verweij. Early sprint, but

0:56:370:56:44

Lee here of Korea has taken the

gold. His team-mate there, you can

0:56:440:56:49

see him, it was all set up for this

lad to win the gold medal.

What a

0:56:490:56:56

tremendous amount of work his

compatriot did for him there. Good

0:56:560:56:59

to see. It's being acknowledged. The

16-year-old, what a work horse.

Let

0:56:590:57:07

us look at it. The final lap again.

Kramer had done his bit on the front

0:57:070:57:10

to draw the race out. Swings found

himself in a good position at the

0:57:100:57:14

front. All the way through you are

looking at the Korean right behind

0:57:140:57:18

him thinking, he is exactly where he

wants to be.

You can see him coming

0:57:180:57:23

down the last 100 meters there. The

accelerating speed power. What they

0:57:230:57:28

learnt really has children, in short

track, you see it there. Really

0:57:280:57:32

hugging the tightness of that bend.

Hip completely in. Verweij in third

0:57:320:57:37

place, really struggling. As he

comes down to the final ten meters.

0:57:370:57:43

As he skates across the line.

Really

close. Swings almost got it on the

0:57:430:57:48

line, not quite. Didn't quite have

that finishing burst.

0:57:480:57:53

Confirmation of the results. The

final gold medal of the games in

0:57:560:58:01

speed skating going to Lee

Seung-Hoon of Korea ahead of Bart

0:58:010:58:06

Swings from Belgium with Koen

Verweij of the Netherlands taking

0:58:060:58:08

the bronze.

0:58:080:58:12

Thanks so much for joining us here

on BBC Four over the last 15 days.

0:58:120:58:20

I'll be back tonight

on BBC One at 11.55pm

0:58:200:58:22

with live coverage of

the Women's Curling final.

0:58:220:58:24

On the penultimate day of competition in South Korea, there's action from the gruelling 50km race in the cross-country skiing, as well as a new event at the Olympics, the mass start speed skating.