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Denmark wins exciting mixed sprint relay

Danish team celebrating their victory. Photo: Pirjo Valjanen / SSL

This new race format, being introduced for the first time at the World Championships next month, was trialled in Imatra, Finland today, the second occasion of its kind this year, by many of the world’s best teams. The outcome didn’t come clear until well into the final leg, but Denmark finished clear winners ahead of two Swedish teams and then Switzerland.

This format has teams of two men and two women competing in the order W-M-M-W, and in the first trial in Turkey earlier in the year it was Sweden who came out winners over Denmark by 19 seconds. This time it was Denmark’s turn for victory, Maja Alm producing the fastest run on the final leg to win by 24 seconds.

The women had 3.4 km and the men 3.8 km, producing fastest times per leg of around 13 minutes. Ukraine’s Nadiya Volynska, running for a mixed team today, was fastest by 21 seconds on the first leg, with Sweden 1 and 2 next and Emma Klingenberg for Denmark in 4th place, 30 seconds down. On leg 2 Tue Lassen (DEN) and Jerker Lysell (SWE) were by far the quickest, giving Sweden 1 a 4-second lead with Lassen handing over third, 5 seconds down.

Dominant runners on leg 3 were the two Swedes Jonas Leandersson and Gustav Bergman, and Mårten Boström brought Finland up several places on this leg with the third-fastest run. Søren Bobach for Denmark hung in there however, and with the fourth-fastest run on the leg brought Denmark into second place – but 25 seconds down on Sweden 1.

With Lena Eliasson running last leg, the Swedish team was confident of another victory, but Maja Alm had other ideas. Tove Alexandersson in Sweden team 2 and Judith Wyder for Switzerland were also running well, but after she got into the lead no-one could catch Maja.

Leading results

  1. Denmark (Emma Klingenberg, Tue Lassen, Søren Bobach, Maja Alm)
  2. Sweden 2 (Alva Olsson, William Lind, Gustav Bergman, Tove Alexandersson)
  3. Sweden 1 (Annika Billstam, Jerker Lysell, Jonas Leandersson, Lena Eliasson)
  4. Switzerland
  5. Great Britain
  6. Finland


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