First gold goes to Sweden at #WinterOlympics

With a clean sweep for The Netherlands gold medalist Carlijn Achtereekte jumps for joy as silver medalist Ireen Wust and bronze medalist Antoinette de Jong watch after the women's 3,000-meter speedskating final at the 2018 Winter Olympics

Sweden's Charlotte Kalla got her tactics exactly right in Saturday's Olympic women's skiathlon as she made her break for gold, but coach Johan Granath was left on tenterhooks to see if her timing would pay off.

Champion Sweden's Charlotte Kalla (C), second placed Norway's Marit Bjoergen (L) and third placed Finland's Krista Parmakoski celebrate after the Ladies' 7.5km + 7.5km Skiathlon of Cross-Country Skiing at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games at the Alpensia Cross-Country Skiing Centre in PyeongChang, South Korea, on February 10, 2018.

In the 15-kilometre race, Kalla was able to catch the rest of the field sleeping on the fourth circuit on an uphill section, eventually coming home in a time of 40 minutes, 44.9 seconds.

The first gold medal of the 2018 Olympics was expected to go to Bjoergen, world champion in the event, who claimed gold in Vancouver in 2010 and again in Sochi four years later. The win confirms her place as Sweden's most successful female cross-country skier at the Olympics.

Bjørgen's runners-up finish secured her an 11th Olympic medal, setting a record for women in any sport at the Winter Olympics.

The 2018 Winter Games have officially begun after an historic opening ceremony that brought together dignitaries from North and South Korea.

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Including men's events, only Bjoern Daehlie of Norway has won more medals (12) than Bjoergen.

"After all the tests that I have had on the way to the present day in the last two weeks ― including my first practice this Friday ― I can say for sure that starting and participating in the Olympic Games is in no way safe or responsible", he said in a statement. "I don't feel like I have a chance of a medal, so that's why I made this choice", she told broadcaster Eurosport. She coasted the final 20 metres for the victory after leading by more than 10 seconds.

"[It means] a lot", Kalla said of her victory.

"There were some thoughts about what the others were doing but I just tried to focus on my performance", Kalla said. By the time she had room to maneuver it was too late because Kalla had built too large of a lead to make up.

Kalla, Bjorgen and Norwegian Heidi Weng were on the podium at Sochi 2014 and at the halfway point only 3.3 seconds separated them in the top four.

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