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Taufatofua's result a success for Tonga

 Morocco's Samir Azzimani (L) congratulates Tonga's Pita Taufatofua after he crossed the finish line during the men's 15km cross country freestyle at the Alpensia cross country ski centre during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 16, 2018 in Pyeongchang.  [AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE vis RNZI]

Tongan skier Pita Taufatofua has finished 114th in the men's 15km freestyle at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Competing in only his sixth major race, the 34 year-old completed his run in 56 minutes and 41 seconds.

Pita Taufatofua, who took up cross-country skiing just over a year ago, finished ahead of four other competitors in South Korea, and more than 23 minutes behind the gold medallist, Dario Cologna from Switzerland.

Head of Sport for the Royal Tonga Ski Federation, Steve Grundmann, said it was a fantastic race by the double Olympian.

He said Pita Taufatofua paced his way perfectly around a difficult course and even had a smile on his face.

"It was never about what position he would finish but believed his result can definitely be deemed a success for Pita Taufatofua and for Tonga," he said.