Austrian skier throws away medal hopes in cross-country race

Cross-Country Skiing - Winter Olympics Day 16

Austrian skier Teresa Stadlober awkwardly took the wrong turn towards the end of the 30km cross-country race to end her hopes of a medal in the final event of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

She was in second position going into the final 10 km of the race when she made a calamitous mistake.

As you can in the video further down the page, the 25-year-old veered right down the wrong turn, automatically throwing away any chances of a medal.

After Stadlober eventually recovered from the huge hiccup, she found herself in eighth position. 

"I don't know. I really don't know, I took the wrong way, and I did this twice. The second time I wasn't sure anymore. I had a blackout. I don't know why I took the wrong way," said Stadlober, who eventually finished the race in ninth.

Stadlober had never won an Olympic medal, and was on course to do so until that ill-fated error - making it a particularly bitter pill to swallow. 

"I'm really sad and disappointed that it has happened today because I had a really good day," she continued. "My shape is good. I know in classic I can make a good race, and I also had really good skis. Before I took the wrong way, I thought I could fight for a medal."

The race was eventually won by Marit Bjorgen, who has become the most decorated Winter Olympian in Pyeongchang.

Charlotte Kalla could have become the most decorated Swedish Olympian of all-time, however, could only come fifth.

Cross-Country Skiing - Winter Olympics Day 12

Kalla responded to Stadlober's suggestion that the track should have been marked by colour markers by claiming she had no problems with the markings. Nevertheless, she did add: "There are a lot of things to be aware of. It's sad for her, I didn't know about it until I got to the mixed zone."

It was the last event of the games, and certainly an eventful one. For Marit Bjorgen she has become an Olympic legend, but for Teresa Stadlober it will be a painful plane journey back to Austria.

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