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Norwegian pair do enough to clinch cross-country crowns

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Falun (Sweden) (AFP)

Norwegian prodigy Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo became at 21 the youngest ever overall men's cross country World Cup winner on Sunday, a few weeks after becoming the youngest Olympic champion.

Earlier another Norwegian, Heidi Weng, clinched her second consecutive World Cup title despite finishing 18th in the season-closing 10-kilometre pursuit in Falun, Sweden.

Klaebo also struggled, finishing 25th in a 15km pursuit won by Russian Alexander Bolshunov. But, having dominated all season, he needed only one point to be assured of finishing ahead of Swiss veteran Dario Cologna.

Cologna was third on Sunday behind Bolshunov and Canadian Alex Harvey.

"The last races were really tough for me," said Klaebo. "I'm happy to have done it!"

In the women's race, Norwegian, Marit Bjoergen won in 52min 34.2sec followed by two Americans, Jessica Diggins, who was 16.7sec back and Sadie Bjornesen 1min 11.5sec behind the winner.

Weng, with no idea what was going on ahead of her, battled to limit the damage way down in the pack, before finishing 2min 24.6sec behind Bjoergen.

"I was having a bad day," Weng said. "I tried to stay calm and to focus on finishing in the top 10 but I was really tired. Happily, 18th was good enough."

Weng hung on to first overall, with Diggins finishing second in the final standings, 40 points behind.

The world title follows a disappointing Olympics in Pyeongchang where Weng failed to add to the solitary bronze she won in Sochi in 2014.

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