CANMORE, ALBERTA, FEB. 19 -- Mikhail Deviatiarov, setting a blazing pace from the start before bursting free in the last leg, won the men's 15-kilometer cross country ski race today, giving the Soviet Union its third gold medal in four Olympic races.
Deviatiarov beat Pal Gunnar Mikkelsplass of Norway by nearly 15 seconds. The Soviet's time for the 9.3-mile race was 41 minutes 18.9 seconds. Mikkelsplass finished in 41:33.4 to give Norway its second cross country medal.
"I had a very good race, I couldn't believe I won," Deviatiarov said. "I am very surprised.
The bronze medal went to Vladimir Smirnov of the Soviet Union in a time of 41:48.5. It was the second medal for Smirnov, who won the silver in the 30K.
The Soviet Union has won three golds, three silvers and two bronzes in four cross country events for men and women. Marjo Matikainen of Finland is the only non-Soviet winner, taking the women's 5K Wednesday.
Sweden, had a disastrous day in an event it had won three times in four previous Olympics. No Swede cracked the top 10.
Afterwards, the national ski federations of Finland, Norway and Sweden demanded that mandatory blood doping tests -- banned since 1985 -- be carried out in the Nordic events of Olympic and world championship competitions next year.