Norway dominate with relay wins

Sun, 20 Nov 12:23:00 2011

Marit Bjoergen racked up another FIS Cross-Country Skiing World Cup victory after anchoring Norway's No.1 team to 4x5km relay gold in Sjusjoen.

Norway's Marit Bjoergen is congratulated by Sweden's Charlotte Kalla. - 0

Fresh from moving to the top of the all-time individual World Cup rankings with her 47th victory on Saturday, Bjoergen was on form again as part of a dominant home quartet.

Led out by Vibeke Skofterud, the Norway I team of her, Therese Johaug, Kristin Stoermer Steira and Bjoergen clocked a time of 51:50.1minutes to take the first World Cup relay title of the season.

And the success for the host nation didn't stop there with the Norway II team of Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen, Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg, Tora Berger and Marthe Kristoffersen finishing second.

They crossed the finish line exactly 26 seconds behind their first-choice compatriots while Finland completed the podium in third just over 13 seconds further back.

Petter Northug showed his class to win a dramatic sprint finish as the Norwegian No.1 men's team followed their female counterparts in winning FIS Cross-Country Skiing World Cup gold.

The 25-year-old double Olympic champion dictated the pace in the final leg of the 4x10km relay and timed his move at the end to perfection with as many as five nations battling for first place.

Northug, who was joined by Eldar Roenning, Finn Haagen Krogh and Lars Berger in the first-choice Norwegian team, won the race to line to stop the clock at an overall time of 1:35:24.8 hours.

Hours earlier the ladies No.1 Norwegian team, including triple Olympic champion Marit Bjoergen, had won the 4x5km relay at a canter with the Norway II team in second and Finland in third.

Petter Northug†:

And the men's Norway III team ensured there was one last reason to celebrate on home soil as they edged out Sweden at the line to take silver - 0.8seconds behind Northug and co.

The Swedish trio of Marcus Hellner, Daniel Rickardsson, Johan Olsson and Calle Halfvarsson finished a further 0.2 away for bronze with France beating Russia to fourth by an even shorter margin of 0.1.

Sportsbeat / Eurosport

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