USA's Caldwell reaches women's sprint free final

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia ( - American cross country skier Sophie Caldwell secured a spot in the final of the women's sprint free competition on Tuesday.

Caldwell and Norway's Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg crossed the finish line at nearly the same time in the second semifinal heat. Oestberg's teammate Maiken Caspersen Falla and Slovakia's Vesna Fabjan finished 1-2 in the first heat to claim their spots in the final.

Sweden's Ida Ingemarsdotter and Norway's Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen secured the last two spots in the final as the lucky losers, finishing with the two fastest times of those skiers outside the top two in their heats.

Norway's Marit Bjoergen, who won this event at the Vancouver Olympics and claimed gold in the 15-kilometer skiathlon on Saturday, finished sixth in the second heat to miss out on a chance to repeat.

Caldwell is looking to become just the second American to win a cross country medal in Olympic history. William Koch claimed the only medal, a silver in the men's 30-km mass start at Innsbruck in 1976.