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Stina Nilsson wins opening World Cup cross-country sprint

Men's and Women's Cross Country Sprint - FIS Nordic World Ski Championships

LAHTI, FINLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Stina Nilsson of Sweden reacts after competing in the Women’s 1.4KM Cross Country Sprint first semi final during the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships on February 23, 2017 in Lahti, Finland. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

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RUKA, Finland (AP) Swedish skier Stina Nilsson won a women’s sprint race as the cross-country World Cup opened for its Olympic season on Friday.

Nilsson won the women’s classical event by 0.24 seconds from Sadie Bjornsen of the United States. Yulia Belorukova of Russia was third, 0.91 seconds off the pace.

Nilsson continued her strong form after winning the last three World Cup sprints last season.

“I had a really good feeling,” she said.

Russia entered three men’s and women’s skiers who have been banned by the International Olympic Committee for their part in a Russian doping scheme at the 2014 Olympics. The IOC bans don’t affect non-Olympic events.

Belorukova hasn’t faced any IOC sanctions.

MORE: Russian skiers banned from Olympics, World Cup OK