Ireland's Thomas Westgard has been forced to withdraw from the Men's 50km Cross Country Ski event at the Winter Olympics due to a respitory illness.

The skier, whose mother hails from Dunmore in Galway, had suffered an illness in the build up to the Olympics in Pyeongchang but still managed to compete in three other events at the games.

The 50km Cross Country is traditionally Westgard's strongest event and he had hoped to be able to improve on his 60th place finish in the 15km + 15km Skiathlon event.

Finland's Iivo Niskanen took gold in the 50k, finishing ahead of two athletes from Russia, with Alexander Bolshunov talking silver and Andrey Larkov claiming bronze.