Randall clinches cross-country WCup sprint title

By the Associated Press | March 9, 2013 | 8:29 AM EST

U.S. Kikkan Randall, front right, leads Norway's Marit Bjorgen in the ladies World Cup sprint event at the Lahti Ski Games on Saturday, March 9, 2013. Slovakia's Alena Prochazkova in background came third. (AP Photo Lehtikuva, Heikki Saukkomaa) FINLAND OUT - NO SALES

LAHTI, Finland (AP) — Kikkan Randall of the United States clinched the cross-country World Cup sprint title on Saturday by beating Norwegian world champion Marit Bjoergen to the line in a close finish at the Lahti Ski Games.

Randall and Bjoergen were in a two-day duel on the final stretch of the 1.55-kilometer freestyle race, and the American managed to throw her ski forward to finish 0.07 seconds ahead of the Norwegian.

Randall, who won the team sprint at the world championships last month together with Jessica Diggins, now has an insurmountable 208-point lead over Poland's Justyna Kowalczyk in the discipline standings with two races remaining.

Sweden's Emil Joensson clinched the men's sprint title by beating Ola Vigen Hattestad of Norway in Saturday's race. Joensson has 466 points in the sprint standings, with American Andrew Newell second on 236.