Norway skier pledges to 'destroy' Russia at Sochi
Norwegian cross country ski star Petter Northug has threatened to "destroy the life" of his Russian counterpart Maxim Vylegzhanin when the two teams meet at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, next year.
"I shall destroy his life so that he can never set foot on a sports track again," Northug told VG newspaper on Sunday. "It's in Russia that we're going to take them. It is one of my greatest dreams to beat Russia at home."
Northug's comments came after Russia trounced Norway's male cross-country skiing relay team at a competition in Lillehammer on Sunday, with Vylegzhanin leaving Northug trailing behind after he launched an impressive sprint in the final lap.
The Russian team won the 4x7.5km race with a time of 1 hour, 19 minutes, and 4.7 seconds.
Northug, who won two gold medals at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, has complained of being out of shape after contracting a virus earlier this year. He has recently embarked on a gruelling programme to get back to peak fitness before the Sochi games in February.
Norway's women's team came away victorious against the Russians on Sunday, after Therese Johaug, the team's star skier, pulled away from the pack in the second leg, helping Norway to victory in the 4x5km race in 58 minutes and 39 seconds.