Bjoergen wins Royal Palace Sprint to extend lead



STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — Three-time Olympic champion Marit Bjoergen of Norway won the Royal Palace Sprint on Wednesday, extending her lead in the World Cup standings over Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland.

Bjoergen finished in 2 minutes, 29.8 seconds in the Old Town in central Stockholm, beating Julia Ivanova of Russia by 0.3 seconds. Maiken Caspersen Falla of Norway was third.

Kowalczyk, the only skier still challenging Bjoergen for the overall title, missed out on the final after finishing her semifinal heat in fifth place. She lost ground when she slipped when turning.

The three last stages of the World Cup finals will be held this weekend in Falun, Sweden.