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Poland’s Kowalczyk raced to Olympic gold with broken foot

February 13, 2014, 19:30 UTC+3 WARSAW
Her victory was widely celebrated in Poland, including in the town where she was born
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Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland in action during the Women's 10km Classic competition

Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland in action during the Women's 10km Classic competition

© EPA/Grzegorz Momot

WARSAW, February 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Justyna Kowalczyk brought Poland Olympic gold medal in cross country skiing classical 10 km despite her broken foot, which she damaged during a training session several weeks ago before the opening of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.

The 31-year-old Polish skier raced the Laura Cross Country course on Thursday with the result of 28 minutes 17.8 seconds to leave behind Charlotte Kalla of Sweden and Therese Johaug of Norway with silver and bronze respectively.

Her victory was widely celebrated in Poland, including in the town where she was born.

“She is just warming up,” said one of the celebrating fans from her town. “She will definitely win a medal in 30 km race.”

This was the second gold medal for Poland at the current Olympics, which run between February 7 and 23. The first gold was grabbed by Polish ski jumper Kamil Stoch.

Kowalczyk’s medal was also the 4th gold and 16th in overall for Poland in its Winter Olympics Games participation history.

According to Sochi2014.com official website, Kowalczyk began skiing at the age of 15. She was involved in various sports at the same time, but a year after taking up cross-country skiing she promised her coach that if she won the Polish junior championship she would start taking skiing seriously. Six months later she won her first national junior gold medal and since then she has focused exclusively on skiing.

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