INTERNATIONAL: Alexander Bolshunov, representing the Russian Olympic Committee recovered from an early spill to win the gold medal in the men's 2x15 km skiathlon in a dominant performance at the Beijing Olympics on Sunday 6th of February.
Bolshunov took a tumble at the eight-minute mark but was quickly back up and battling Niskanen, the reigning Olympic 50 km classic champion, for the remainder of the classic portion of the race.
His ROC team mate Denis Spitsov took the silver medal, finishing one minute and 11 seconds behind, with Finland's Iivo Niskanen taking bronze just over two minutes behind the winner.
When the pair switched skis at the 15 km mark, Bolshunov came out in second place but quickly blew past his rival and powered away, building an insurmountable lead and cruising through the rest of the race.
It was Bolshunov's day he spent the final lap pumping his fist, waving to the crowd and high-fiving his coaches and support team as he blazed his way to his first Olympic gold medal.