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Dario Cologna takes gold in men's 15km cross country

Switzerland's Dario Cologna

Cologna claims 15km cross country gold

Swiss Dario Cologna put in a devastating display to win the men's 15km cross country.

His gold was Switzerland's second of the day after Didier Defago's triumph in the men's downhill.

Cologna completed the course 24.6 seconds ahead of Italy's Pietro Piller Cottrer in 33 minutes 36.3 sec.

Czech Lukas Bauer, the 2006 silver medallist, took bronze, just 0.07 sec ahead of Sweden's Marcus Hellner, with World Cup leader Petter Northug 41st.

Third in the World Cup standings Cologna, 23, had previously stated that the Whistler course was "too easy".

He backed up his confidence with a powerful ski over a distance that Northug, who has dominated cross country this season, has found difficulty with.

"I had a very good feeling from the start, I didn't believe I could win the 15km, but I pushed until the end," said Cologna. "With this victory, my childhood dream came true."

Piller Cottrer was gracious in second place, saying: "Getting silver behind such a great athlete is gold for me."

Bauer, meanwhile, sounded a warning ahead of the individual sprint on Wednesday that he was "able to fight with the best of them and now I can fight for the gold."

British teenager Andrew Musgrave finished in 55th place overall, in a time of 36 min 32.4 sec, with fellow Scot Andrew Young coming in 74th place.

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see also
As it happened - Winter Olympics day four
15 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Kalla wins women's 10km cross country
15 Feb 10 |  Cross country skiing
Skiing: Cross-country
10 Nov 09 |  Cross country skiing
Skiers barred after blood tests
14 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010
Day-by-day guide to the Winter Olympics
26 Feb 10 |  Vancouver 2010

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