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ESOC Relays: great day for Norway

Norway won the men’s relay, silver and bronze went to Russia and Finland.

The Norwegian team was confident ahead of the race and went into it with great determination. Jørgen Madslien took first leg and came in with a 32-second lead, which was built upon by in-form Øyvind Watterdal, who extended the lead to 1.25. So it was a race between Lars Moholdt and Andrey Lamov on last leg, with excitement quickly created as Lamov was reported just 18 seconds down after less than half of the distance. Norway’s Moholdt kept his nerve, however, and finished to great jubilation from his team-mates, 17 seconds ahead of Lamov.

The Finnish first team was eighth at the first changeover and up to fifth at the second, and a fine final leg from Tero Linnainmaaa secured them the bronze medal. Sweden with Erik Rost on last leg never really got to grips with the race as a whole, Rost finishing 2.09 away from a medal position.

The women’s race was always going to be a straight fight between Russian and Sweden, clearly the two strongest teams. Alena Trapeznikova set Russia on their way with a 1.29 lead after the first leg, with Sweden 1 in fourth place, 2.53 down. Magdalena Olsson pulled the deficit back to 1.24 and second place on the middle leg, but this proved still too much for Tove Alexandersson to claw back against the best of the Russians, Mariya Kechkina. The final margin was 1.19. The Norwegian team performed well throughout and ended a creditable third.

Unfortunately, some mistakes with a first leg maps were done and women’s race results were canceled by a jury decision.

So ends an eventful European Championships, where the Bulgarian organisers worked very hard and successfully in coping with often adverse conditions to create high-quality competition. The third and final round of the SkiO World Cup is in the USA in early March.



  1. Norway 1 (Jørgen Madslien, Øyvind Watterdal, Lars Moholdt) 1:31:18
  2. Russia 1 (Vladislav Kiselev, Eduard Khrennikov, Andrey lamov) 1:31:35
  3. Finland 1 (Tuomas Kotro, Misa Tuomala, Tero Linnainmaa) 1:34:05
  4. Sweden 1 1:36:14
  5. Czech Republic 1:41:58
  6. Switzerland 1:45:04


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