Cross-Country Skiing - Bjoergen defends another title in Val di Fiemme

Marit Bjoergen made it two cross-country skiing wins in as many days at the Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme impressively defending a second title in the process.

The 32-year-old, who missed the Tour de Ski after suffering an irregular heartbeat, took the ladies' sprint title as the first cross country medals were awarded on Friday.

And the Norwegian triple Olympic champion produced yet another stunning race at a World Championships to win the 7.5km classic, 7.5km freestyle pursuit skiathlon for her ninth global title.

Part of a five strong pack, Bjoergen and Therese Johaug broke away however the former had too much to contend with over the final metres as she clocked a winning time of 39:04.4minutes.

Johaug held on for silver while Heidi Weng completed a Norwegian clean sweep of the medals by taking third ahead of teammate Kristin Stoermer Steira in Val di Fiemme.

Bjoergen won the sprint and skiathlon titles at the last World Championships on home soil in Oslo in 2011 as well as the 10km classic and 4x5km women's relay crowns and 30km freestyle silver.

Justyna Kowalczyk, Bjoergen, Johaug, Weng and Steira were the five that broke away as the freestyle phase wore on however the only non-Norwegian skier was to drop off with ten minutes to go.

Johaug and Bjoergen soon escaped the remaining two as the field started to string out with Kowalczyk desperately trying to hold on in a bid to claim a medal.

Bjoergen upped the pace over the final few metres and would not be stopped by Johaug, who came home 3.4 seconds behind while Weng got the better of Steira at the line.

Weng was 14.9 behind Bjoergen in total and 1.4 ahead of Steira with Kowalczyk a distant fifth over ten second behind the fourth of the Norwegians in the top four.