by Andrew Hinkelman
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Alaska's best hope for an individual medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics met an early exit Wednesday.
Anchorage Nordic skier Kikkan Randall was eliminated from medal contention in the semifinals of the women's sprint Wednesday afternoon. Still, the eighth-place finish was the best performance of Randall's career in the classic sprint and the best Olympic finish ever by an American woman in Nordic skiing.
Randall finished fourth in the first of two semifinal heats, 4.7 seconds out of contention. The six fastest skiers advanced to the medal round.
Marit Bjoergen of Norway won gold. Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk took silver and Petra Majdic of Sweden -- who suffered a nasty fall before qualifying even began -- claimed bronze.