Iivo Niskanen wins gold medal in 50-kmcross-country ski mass start

Iivo Niskanen has captured Finland's first gold medal of the Pyeongchang Games. He beat out Russian Alexander Bolshunov with a strong sprint to the finish in the 50 kilometer mass start on Saturday.

Bolshunov took the silver and teammate Andrey Larkov won the bronze. It's the first time in 11 races that Norway has failed to medal in a cross-country race here.

It turned into a two-man race with about 11 kilometers remaining as Bolshunov and Niskanen opened more than a 1-minute lead over the rest of the pack. But with just more than a kilometer remaining, Niskanen took off and Bolshunov had nothing left in the tank to catch him.

Niskanen won the marathon event in 2 hours, 8 minutes, 22.1 seconds -- more than 18 seconds ahead of Bolshunov.

The Norwegians raced without Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, who decided to skip the final men's race of the Olympic Games and return home to Norway despite having a chance to become the only Olympian at the Pyeongchang Games to win four gold medals.