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Randall of US is 2nd in World Cup cross-country

AP - Sports

KUUSAMO, Finland (AP) -- Kikkan Randall of the United States finished runner-up Friday in a World Cup cross-country race won Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland. Eirik Brandsdal of Norway was the men's winner.

Kowalczyk captured the 1.4-kilometer sprint in 3 minutes, 6.14 seconds. Randall was 1.69 seconds behind, with Denise Herrmann of Germany in third place, trailing the winner by 2.9 seconds.

''I felt really strong all day and my skis were excellent in every round,'' Randall said. ''There is a big climb near the end of the course and my strategy was to save some energy to come over the top strong and carry the speed to the finish.''

This was Randall's first top-three finish in a classic sprint.

''She looked increasingly strong throughout the day,'' U.S. coach Chris Grover said. ''Both her striding and her double-poling looked very powerful and efficient.

In the men's 1.4K race, Brandsdal won in 2:40.74. He beat Anton Gafarov of Russia by 0.06 seconds. Teodor Peterson of Sweden was third, 0.1 seconds behind the winner.

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