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Women’s Relay: clear win for favourites Sweden

Photo: Matias Salonen, IOF Digital Team

Sweden’s team of Emma Johansson, Helena Jansson and Tove Alexandersson enjoyed a victory by 2.41 over last year’s champions Russia, holding the lead throughout.

There were no dramatic early mistakes by runners from the best teams, as happened in the men’s race, but few athletes completed the course without some distinct time loss at some point on their course. Finland (Venla Harju) kept in touch with Sweden on the first leg and were 45 seconds down at the changeover, but Jansson stretched the lead by a minute on the second leg.

However as Alexandersson completed her leg comfortably but not entirely without error – she missed her way on the spectator run-through and lost a minute between controls 9 and 13 – the Russian Natalia Gemperle was running well, and took advantage of a couple of mistakes in the middle of the course by the Finn Merja Rantanen to pull up into second place, which she held to the end. Rantanen was not pressed in bringing Finland into bronze medal position.

There was a sprint finish for fourth place between Latvia and Switzerland, just won by Sabine Hauswirth for Switzerland. The Latvian team was fourth after leg 1 (Inge Dambe) and was never below fifth – a very good team performance. Norway took the final podium place.

Leading results

  1. Sweden (Emma Johansson, Helena Jansson, Tove Alexandersson)
  2. Russia (Anastasia Rudnaya, Svetlana Mironova, Natalia Gemperle) + 2.41
  3. Finland (Venla Harju, Marika Teini, Merja Rantanen) + 4.23
  4. Switzerland + 7.29, 5. Latvia + 7.33, 6. Norway  + 11.09



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