Chapuis leads home French charge

  • Last Updated: February 20 2014, 12:33 GMT

Latest news from Thursday's action at the Winter Olympics, including a French clean sweep in the men's ski cross.

Jean Frederic Chapuis celebrates his victory
Jean Frederic Chapuis celebrates his victory

Jean Frederic Chapuis added Winter Olympics gold to his world title in the men's ski cross as France claimed a sensational clean sweep of the podium in Sochi.

Chapuis, who triumphed at the world championship in Voss, Norway last year, led the way in a dramatic final at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, with Arnaud Bovolenta settling for silver and Jonathan Midol earning bronze despite crashing over the finish line after landing awkwardly on the final jump.

Brady Leman of Canada was the only non-Frenchman in the final, but his hopes of a medal were undone after falling midway through the race.

It is the first time France have completed a one-two-three at the Winter Games although the country did sweep the gymnastics artistic sidehorse vault for men in 1924 at the Summer Olympics.

"With the two other French guys it's like a dream," Chapuis said. "Yesterday, I was joking with the guys saying that all three on the podium would be good and it happened. It's perfect.

"We didnt have a strategy. There are three places for the podium, there is one loser place.

"We are friends off the slopes, but on the slopes we are enemies so I tried to make my best."

It was a deserved victory for Chapuis, who topped the standings in each of his three races before the final.

"My goal was to make the podium," he added. "I worked really hard throughout the summer. I had a good start to the season, after I was a little bit tired and the rest was not so good.

"But I trained again, I came back here with good form and I made it."

Defending champion Michael Schmid pulled out shortly before the event due to injury, while World Cup leader Victor Oehling Norberg was knocked out early on after finishing third in his quarter-final.

Norway claimed their first men's Nordic combined large hill/4x5km team medal in 16 years with gold at the RusSki Gorki Centre.

Joergren Graabak held off Germany's Fabian Riessle in a thrilling sprint for the line in the cross country to claim his second gold of Sochi 2014, and Norway's 10th, with an individual time of 11.57 minutes.

Germany began the cross-country phase in pole position, seven seconds ahead of Austria and with a 25-second advantage over Norway having topped the standings following the ski jumping round, but Magnus Hovdal Moan, Magnus Krog, Graabak and Haavard Klemetsen - who claimed the biggest jump of the day on Wednesday - combined to grab glory from their rivals in a thrilling final cross-country round.

The Germans claimed silver just 0.3 seconds behind their rivals, while 2010 gold medallists Austria had to settle for bronze after Mario Stecher tired on the home stretch.


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