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Swedes mock Northug with 'consolation medal'

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Swedes mock Northug with 'consolation medal'
Petter Northug with his 'consolation medal' on Sunday - Photo: Expressen
08:30 CET+01:00
Petter Northug was awarded a 'consolation medal' by Sweden's Expressen newspaper outside the Olympic village in Sochi on Sunday, as the tabloid continued its merciless mockery of the Norwegian cross-country ski star.
Northug, who has in the past missed no opportunity to taunt his Swedish rivals, took the ribbing in good spirit.
 
"This feels great," he said, posing with the medal and laughing, according to the newspaper
 
Norway's most famous cross-country skier finished the men's 50km mass start on Sunday in 18th place, disappointing even in the context of his medal-less Olympics. 
 
"Sweden has had a good championship, and there are going to be great expectations around them at home," Northug said, "In everything before the Olympics, we were the best, but they were the best as a team throughout the Olympics," he said.
 
Norway narrowly missed a medal in the men's 50km with Martin Johnsrud Sundby taking fourth place, behind the Russian trio of Alexander Legkov, Maxim Vylegzhanin, and Ilia Chernousov, who took gold, silver and bronze respectively. 
 
Northug was philosophical about his poor performance throughout the games. 
 
"It's terribly frustrating not to be competitive in a championship," he told NRK, blaming his poor performance on the virus which prevented him from training over the summer. 
 
"Here in the Olympics, I was missing my final gear all the way. I will not stand here and blame it on something, but it might have something to do with losing three months of training in the summer." 
 
"There is no point in digging down," he said. "It is better to stand up and come back and show that you can stand on top again."
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