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Kazakhstan’s skier Mukhin wins men’s 15km cross-country

Sapporo, Feb 21: Kazakhstan pocketed another gold at the Asian Winter Games here on Tuesday when skier Rit Mukhin claimed the men’s 15km cross-country free title. The young skier crossed the finish line at Shirahatayama Open Stadium in 41 minutes and 25.3 seconds. Japan’s oto Baba, only 4.5 seconds slower, settled for the silver, while another Japanese Akira Lenting took the bronze in 41:33.3.

Earlier, Japan’s Yuki Kobayashi took the women’s 10km free gold in 30:24.6, 24.4 seconds faster than 35-year-old defending champion Lee Chae-won from South Korea.

The bronze went to Yele Kolomi of Kazakhstan, who also got a silver in the women’s 1.4 km individual sprint classical on Monday. The best Chinese finishers in the two cross-country free events were Li Hongxue in 32:10.9 and Wang Qiang in 43:33.8, taking the sixth and seventh place respectively.

“I’m satisfied with the performance of Li Hongxue and Wang Qiang,” said the head coach Mikko Olavi Virtanen.

“We are still a little behind the best Asian opponents in the long-distance races. We need more time,” he added. IANS