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22-year-old Rissveds claims women’s MTB gold in Rio

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) — Sweden’s Jenny Rissveds won the Olympic title in women’s cross-country mountain biking Saturday, just a week after needing stitches in her knee and elbow following a training fall.

The 22-year-old soloed clear of the other contenders towards the end of the fourth of five total laps on the Rio course. She held out the finish for gold, crossing the line 37 seconds ahead of Poland’s Maja Wloszczowska, who also won a silver medal in Beijing in 2008.

Catharine Pendrel narrowly staved off her Canadian compatriot Emily Batty for bronze.

Top 10

  • 1. Jenny RISSVEDS, Sweden, in 1:30:15
  • 2. Maja WLOSZCZOWSKA, Poland, in 1:30:52
  • 3. Catharine PENDREL, Canada, in 1:31:41
  • 4. Emily BATTY, Canada, at :31:43
  • 5. Katerina NASH, Czech Republic, in 1:32:25
  • 6. Jolanda NEFF, Switzerland, in 1:32:43
  • 7. Lea DAVISON, United States of America, in 1:33:27
  • 8. Linda INDERGAND, Switzerland, in 1:33:27
  • 9. Yana BELOMOINA, Ukraine, in 1:33:28
  • 10. Gunn-Rita DAHLE FLESJAA, Norway, in 1:33:34

Rissveds’ bid for gold looked to be in doubt in the early goings, when she suffered a mechanical in the first lap. She recovered, however, and worked her way up to the head of the race, making her way into a lead group of three with Wloszczowska and Switzerland’s Jolanda Neff by the third lap.

Rissveds and Wloszczowska dropped Neff before long, and then Rissveds pushed ahead solo as she neared the penultimate crossing of the finish line. The reigning under-23 world champion quickly opened a gap to Wloszczowska that held steady all the way to the line.

Risseds’ win marked the first gold medal for Sweden in any Olympic cycling event since Bernt Johansson, who won the men’s road race in 1976 in Montreal.

“I just came here a week ago. I crashed in training, and ended up with six stitches in my knee and four in my elbow and I thought, ‘this is not going to work at all,'” Rissveds said.

“But the day after that I went out on the course and I felt so good. I like this course but I was a little bit scared after that. After a few laps I felt good enough.”

Results

  • 1. Jenny RISSVEDS, Sweden, in 1:30:15
  • 2. Maja WLOSZCZOWSKA, Poland, in 1:30:52
  • 3. Catharine PENDREL, Canada, in 1:31:41
  • 4. Emily BATTY, Canada, in 1:31:43
  • 5. Katerina NASH, Czech Republic, in 1:32:25
  • 6. Jolanda NEFF, Switzerland, in 1:32:43
  • 7. Lea DAVISON, United States of America, in 1:33:27
  • 8. Linda INDERGAND, Switzerland, in 1:33:27
  • 9. Yana BELOMOINA, Ukraine, in 1:33:28
  • 10. Gunn-Rita DAHLE FLESJAA, Norway, in 1:33:34
  • 11. Annika LANGVAD, Denmark, in 1:33:48
  • 12. Helen GROBERT, Germany, in 1:34:08
  • 13. Tanja ZAKELJ, Slovenia, in 1:35:17
  • 14. Chloe WOODRUFF, United States of America, in 1:36:17
  • 15. Anne TERPSTRA, Netherlands, in 1:36:33
  • 16. Daniela CAMPUZANO, Mexico, in 1:36:33
  • 17. Irina KALENTYEVA, Russia, in 1:36:54
  • 18. Eva LECHNER, Italy, in 1:38:45
  • 19. Sabine SPITZ, Germany, in 1:39:16
  • 20. Raiza GOULAO-HENRIQUE, Brazil, in 1:39:21
  • 21. Githa MICHIELS, Belgium, in 1:40:23
  • 22. Iryna POPOVA, Ukraine, in 1:41:29
  • 23. Perrine CLAUZEL, France, in 1:42:23
  • 24. Ping YAO, China, in 1:43:20
  • LAP Rebecca HENDERSON, Australia
  • LAP Michelle VORSTER, Namibia
  • LAP Jovana CRNOGORAC, Serbia
  • LAP Francelina CABRAL, Timor-Leste
  • DNF Pauline FERRAND PREVOT, France