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Finnish woman wins

THE BALTIMORE EVENING SUN

LES SAISIES, France -- Marjut Lukkarinen continued a Finnish Olympic tradition by winning the women's 5-kilometer cross-country skiing today.

Lukkarinen, one of the late starters, finished in 14 minutes, 3.8 seconds to edge second place Lyubov Egorova of the Unified Team by .9 seconds.

"I didn't believe the gold medal was mine until Egorova finished," said Lukkarinen, 26, an Olympic rookie and runner-up to Egorova in the 15K Sunday.

"I was hoping for a medal, but never for the gold. It's such a great feeling," said Lukkarinen after winning the first Finnish gold in Albertville.

Elena Valbe, third in the opener, added another bronze for the Unified Team, finishing eight seconds behind Egorova. Stefania Belmondo, of Italy, took fourth.

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