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Canada's Valjas wins first-ever World Cup ski medal

03/07/2012 02:17 EST | Updated 05/07/2012 05:12 EDT

Len Valjas of Canada captured his first-ever World Cup ski medal on Wednesday, winning silver at an event in Drammen, Norway. Valjas was just 1.5 seconds shy of first place, and was narrowly beat out by Eirik Brandsdal of Norway.

“I don’t think it has sunk in yet, but it does feel pretty good,” said Valjas. “I think I may be a little in shock.”

The 23-year-old Torontonian is in just his third World Cup season.

“I never would have thought I’d win a medal this early in my career, but to have the first medal come in Norway is really special. This country has been really good to me over the last couple of years,” said Valjas. “I just wanted to get to the front and attack on the hills. I had great skis and was able to do that. I felt good all day.”

Valjas was followed by Paal Golberg of Norway who finished third.

In the women's race, Marit Bjoergen of Norway claimed the gold medal, extending her lead in the overall standings.

Bjoergen finished the race in 3 minutes, 32.9 seconds, to beat compatriot Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen by 1.7 seconds.

Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland, who is second behind Bjoergen in the overall standings, fell after the final downhill and finished third. Bjoergen now leads Kowalczyk by 118 points.

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