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Jessie Diggins after skiathlon: 'My brain and body went to war with each other'

By Alex Butler
Jessie Diggins after skiathlon: 'My brain and body went to war with each other'
Jessie Diggins (3) and other racers start in the Ladies' 7.5km + 7.5km Skiathlon cross country skiing event during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics Saturday at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre in Daegwallyeong, South Korea. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Team USA cross country skier Jessie Diggins finished the skiathlon in fifth place Saturday at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

She explained how grueling the test was with a post on her Instagram account. Diggins, 26, claimed the best-ever finish in the skiathlon for an American woman in Winter Games history.

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She finished just 4.6 seconds away from a gold medal.

"My brain and my body went to war with each other today," Diggins posted on Instagram.

"Turned myself inside out and left it all out on the course...and I'm walking away proud of our techs and team, happy with the race, and excited for more! Really, truly feeling the love from both near and far. I think I heard my hometown cheering at 3 AM....almost as loud as my family on course! Love you guys!"

Diggins posted a photo of herself and a photo from back home with all of her supporters in Afton, Minn.

"It was really cool being seconds away from a medal, and seeing it right there," Diggins told the Team USA website. "I know it's possible. I know I have what it takes."

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Sweden's Charlotte Kalla claimed gold at the event. Norwegian Marit Bjoergen and Finland's Krista Parmakoski also reached the podium.

Diggins vomited before the race, due to nerves, according to Team USA. She struggled with a cramp in her right tricep during the event.

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