“This feels really big. I almost didn’t dare to hope for this when I woke up this morning,” an enthusiastic Kalla told Sveriges Television (SVT) after the race.
Finland finished second, with hosts Norway taking the bronze.
The 25-year-old Ingemarsdotter held off challengers from Slovenia and Italy in the first leg of the race, putting her teammate Kalla is position to bring home the gold.
After taking over from Ingemarsdotter, Kalla started the final leg of the race in top form and never looked back.
The 23-year-old skiing sensation, who gave Sweden its first gold of the 2010 winter Olympic Games in Vancouver with a win in the women’s 10km freestyle, added yet another merit to her growing list of Nordic skiing achievements.
“It feels awesome. It’s important to have a mental advantage and know that you’ve got a good grip and can just push on up the hill,” Kalla told SVT.
The Swedish victory was extra sweet for the support team, which had come in for criticism after waxing problems in the previous two days of competition dashed medal hopes for a number of Swedish skiers.
“It’s really nice for the whole team, especially when we’d been so written off,” waxing team head Larry Poromaa said to SVT following the Swedish women’s victory.
“We thought we might not be let back into Sweden again.”