Norway is back. Jessie Diggins still wins.

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When Jessie Diggins became the first American to win the Tour de Ski three weeks ago, the caveat was that she did it without any skiers in the field from powerhouse Norway.

Well, the Norwegians are back after sitting out races for coronavirus pandemic safety reasons. And Diggins beat them on Friday.

Diggins won a World Cup race in her trademark discipline — 10km freestyle — in Falun, Sweden. She edged the world’s top skier, Norwegian Therese Johaug, by 2.1 seconds in the interval-start race. Diggins finished early, then waited it out as Johaug chased her time.

“To do it with a full field and have everyone here, that’s really, really special,” Diggins, who with the now-retired Kikkan Randall in the team sprint, won the U.S.’ first Olympic cross-country skiing title in 2018, said on Swedish TV. “It’s not that the other races aren’t special, but this, I think, is extra challenging and especially on such a hard course.”

Johaug, the reigning World Cup overall champion, trailed by eight seconds at the 6.3-kilometer split, then led by one tenth at the final intermediate split at 7.7km.

Johaug, who missed the PyeongChang Olympics over a strange doping ban, won nine of her previous 10 starts in races of 10km or longer dating to early January 2020.

Diggins earned her first World Cup victory outside of the Tour de Ski since February 2019, when she took a sprint that didn’t include the world’s top three sprinters. Friday marked Diggins’ first victory in a full-strength World Cup since the 2017-18 season.

“I can’t really believe it, but I think if I had to design the perfect course for me, this would be it,” she said. “It was cold. I had amazing skis. The downhills were so fun. They were so crazy. The uphills are so hard, but I was just thinking, it was almost just like a video game for me. … When it’s cold like this, I feel like I can just push and push and push.

“Some people make skiing look easy; I think I make it look really painful,” she said, according to U.S. Ski and Snowboard. “I wish I made it look pretty.”

It gives Diggins, the World Cup overall leader by a significant 235 points, momentum as the world championships approach in one month.

The 10km race switches between the two techniques — classic and freestyle — with every biennial worlds. This year, it’s freestyle. (At the 2022 Olympics, it’s classic.) No American has won an individual world title in cross-country skiing.

“It really makes me think that it’s possible,” Diggins said of success at worlds.

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French Open: Ons Jabeur completes Grand Slam quarterfinal set; one U.S. player left

Ons Jabeur

No. 7 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia dispatched 36th-ranked American Bernarda Pera 6-3, 6-1 in the French Open fourth round, breaking all eight of Pera’s service games.

Jabeur, runner-up at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year, has now reached the quarterfinals of all four majors.

Jabeur faces 14th-seeded Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia or Spaniard Sara Sorribes Tormo, playing on a protected ranking of 68, in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

Pera, a 28 year-old born in Croatia, was the oldest U.S. singles player to make the fourth round of a major for the first time since Jill Craybas at 2005 Wimbledon. Her defeat leaves Coco Gauff, the 2022 French Open runner-up, as the lone American singles player left out of the 35 entered in the main draws.

The last American to win a major singles title was Sofia Kenin at the 2020 Australian Open. The 11-major drought matches the longest in history (since 1877) for American men and women combined.

Later Monday, Gauff plays 100th-ranked Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. Top seed Iga Swiatek gets 66th-ranked Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko. The winners of those matches play each other in the quarterfinals.

FRENCH OPEN DRAWS: Women | Men | Broadcast Schedule

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Jim Hines, Olympic 100m gold medalist and first to break 10 seconds, dies

Jim Hines

Jim Hines, a 1968 Olympic 100m gold medalist and the first person to break 10 seconds in the event, has died at age 76, according to USA Track and Field.

“I understand that God called him home today and we send the prayers up for him,” was posted on the Facebook page of John Carlos, a 1968 U.S. Olympic teammate, over the weekend.

Hines was born in Arkansas, raised in Oakland, California and attended Texas Southern University in Houston.

At the June 1968 AAU Championships in Sacramento, Hines became the first person to break 10 seconds in the 100m with a hand-timed 9.9. It was dubbed the “Night of Speed” because the world record of 10 seconds was beaten by three men and tied by seven others, according to World Athletics.

“There will never be another night like it,” Hines said at a 35th anniversary reunion in 2003, according to World Athletics. “That was the greatest sprinting series in the history of track and field.”

Later that summer, Hines won the Olympic Trials. Then he won the Olympic gold medal in Mexico City’s beneficial thin air in 9.95 seconds, the first electronically timed sub-10 and a world record that stood for 15 years.

Hines was part of a legendary 1968 U.S. Olympic track and field team that also included 200m gold and bronze medalists Tommie Smith and Carlos, plus gold medalists Wyomia Tyus (100m), Bob Beamon (long jump), Al Oerter (discus), Dick Fosbury (high jump), Lee Evans (400m), Madeline Manning Mims (800m), Willie Davenport (110m hurdles), Bob Seagren (pole vault), Randy Matson (shot put), Bill Toomey (decathlon) and the men’s and women’s 4x100m and men’s 4x400m relays.

After the Olympics, Hines joined the Miami Dolphins, who chose him in the sixth round of that year’s NFL Draft to be a wide receiver. He was given the number 99. Hines played in 10 games between 1969 and 1970 for the Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs.

He remains the only person to have played in an NFL regular season game out of the now more than 170 who have broken 10 seconds in the 100m over the last 55 years.