Fredriksson leads Swedes to freestyle team sprint title

DUESSELDORF, Germany -- Olympic champion Thobias Fredriksson
and Peter Larsson won the freestyle team sprint race Sunday at
cross-country skiing's World Cup season-opener.

The Swedes completed the 6x1.5-kilometer race through downtown
Duesseldorf in 18 minutes, 12.7 seconds on artificial snow.
Norwegians Johan Kjolstad and Tor Arne Hetland were 0.5 seconds
back. Marcus Hellner and Emil Jonsson of Sweden finished third, 3.2
seconds behind.

The women's 6x0.8 race was also won by Swedes -- Charlotte Kalla
and Britta Norgren in 9:58.4. Natalia Korosteleva and Natalia
Matveyeva of Russia were 1.5 seconds back, with Pirjo Muranen and
Virpi Kuitunen of Finland 2.2 seconds behind in third.

Organizers said the two days of racing drew 350,000 spectators --
the same as last year -- but police reported a decline in
attendance. An attempt is underway to push back the event to
December to boost its television presence.