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WOC Men’s Relay: gold to Norway

The Norwegian team of Carl Godager Kaas, Olav Lundanes and Magne Dæhli ran very impressively throughout, holding a clear lead from the second control on leg 1 right through to the finish, to take the gold medals. Silver goes to Switzerland and bronze to Sweden.

On the first leg Carl Godager Kaas, Norway established a lead at quite an early stage and gradually extended it, not least through the quite different terrain after the arena passage, so that at the changeover he was 0.54 in front of Fabian Hertner, Switzerland and 1.41 ahead of third-placed Kris Jones, Great Britain. Finland, Czech Republic and Denmark held fourth, fifth and sixth places. Fredrik Bakkman, Sweden, made a big mistake early on and managed to pull back to be ninth at the changeover, 3.15 down. At that point France was 12th and Russia 24th.

The second leg also belonged to Norway, with Olav Lundanes completing a very successful personal Championships by extending his country’s lead to 1.48. Switzerland and Finland held on to second and third places, 3.38 and 3.44 down respectively, with Great Britain and Sweden just behind.

Magne Dæhli was caught up a bit on the first part of the last leg by Matthias Kyburz, the very experienced last-leg runner for Switzerland. But the Norwegian quickly got his act together and Kyburz never got Dæhli in his sights. In the next group, William Lind for Sweden slowly got away from Finland and Great Britain, and at the arena passage was about half a minute ahead.

Dæhli continued with an error-free run, taking safe routes, and came into complete an emphatic win for Norway, their first in the men’s class since 2005. Switzerland and Sweden duly ran in to take silver and bronze respectively. Finland was slightly ahead of Great Britain until the second-last when the Finn Mikko Siren made a small error, enough for Ralph Street to bring Great Britain to the finish in fourth place. Finland was fifth and France sixth.

A huge crowd of more than 8,000 spectators has gathered in the Strömstad East arena, the same as used for the Long Distance race, on a fresh and sunny day. The arena plan is compact, giving the audience a fine view of the arena passage as well as the changeover and finish and the big arena screen without having to change position.

Leading results

  1. Norway (Carl Godager Kaas, Olav Lundanes, Magne Dæhli) 107.44
  2. Switzerland (Fabian Hertner, Daniel Hubmann, Matthias Kyburz) 109.38
  3. Sweden (Fredrik Bakkman, Gustav Bergman, William Lind) 112.23
  4. Great Britain 113.29
  5. Finland 113.44
  6. France 116.24


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