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KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia - Dario Cologna had the strongest finish to win the men's 30-kilometer skiathlon at the Sochi Olympics on Sunday, showing he's back to full fitness after a season disrupted by an ankle injury.

The Swiss cross-country skier pulled away from a quartet of skiers at the top of the final uphill section and then held off defending champion Marcus Hellner of Sweden on the final straight.

Cologna finished in 1 hour, 8 minutes, 15.4 seconds for his second Olympic gold medal. Hellner was 0.4 seconds behind to win silver, with Martin Johnsrud Sundby of Norway taking bronze.

Cologna is a three-time overall World Cup winner. He needed surgery to repair an ankle ligament in November and only returned to competition last month.

The top American finisher was Noah Hoffman, who lost a photo finish to place 35th. Anchorage's Erik Bjornsen was the second American finisher in 42nd place.

Brian Gregg of Minneapolis finished 47th (1:13:26.3). Veteran Kris Freeman of New Hampshire was 54th.


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