STOCKHOLM, March 5 (Xinhua) -- Norway's John Kristian Dahl won the men's Vasaloppet cross-country ski race in the Dalarna region of central Sweden on Sunday, while Swedish Britta Johansson Norgren came first in the ladies' event.
Dahl finished just ahead of his fellow countryman Andreas Nygaard. "It's totally unreal," he said after crossing the finishing line.
"I had no ambitions to win. Just being at the starting line was a victory in itself," added Dahl, who injured his back on Thursday and had been unsure of whether he would be able to take part at all. Dahl's finishing time on Sunday was 3.57.18, while Nygaard came in at 3.57.18.
In the women's event, Britta Johansson Norgren crossed the finish line first, with a time of 4:19:43. It was a longed-for victory for Norgren, who had come in second and third in the past two years.
"It felt so incredibly good that I managed to do it," she said after the race. "It is just such a relief. I am so tired now, I don't know what to do with myself,"
The runner-up, Norway's Astrid Oyre Slind, came in close behind Norgren, finishing the race in 4:21:21.
Vasaloppet is a cross-country ski competition that has been held on the first Sunday of March every year since 1922. The 90-kilometer course starts in the village of Salen and ends in the town of Mora in northwestern Dalarna, Sweden. It is the oldest and longest cross-country ski race in the world as well as the one with the highest number of participants.