Norwegian knockout on the 4 x 10K relay for men in Seefeld
Klæbo secured the gold medal in the 10 x 4 relay for men with a knockout win. This was Norway’s tenth consecutive win in the event. except for a few flies in the ointment, these World Championships in cross country skiing has been one long victory parade so far.
Johannes Høsflot Klæbo’s explosive change of pace secured the World Championships gold medal for Norway on the relay in Seefeld on Friday. He completed his hat trick on yet another Norwegian day of celebration.
In a head to head with Sergei Ustjugow, there was no doubt. Klæbo had better skis and more speed at his disposal than the Russian towards the finish. The Norwegian left Ustugov behind with three kilometres remaining.
Very few predicted that beforehand.
“I don’t know what I see with my own eyes,” Martin Johnsrud Sundby comments live to NRK.
Ustjugov was very annoyed at Klæbo after the individual sprint earlier in the World Championships. Now the Russian experienced another disappointment at the hands of the Norwegian cross country star.
Emil Iversen, Sundby and Sjur Røthe were allocated the first three legs. These three are all two-time winners in Seefeld. Klæbo is ahead with his three gold medals out of four possible.
Iversen followed the Russian Andrei Larkow to the door on the first leg. The speed on that leg didn’t pick up until the last one and a half kilometre.
“I am relieved, happy, proud and satisfied after my leg. I virtually saw mirages at the top of the last climb,” Iversen tells NRK.
Sundby then did a lot of hard work. He had Finland and Russia in tow at the exchange. Sweden’s Calle Halfvarsson broke completely towards the finish after he attacked at a climb, something which cost him dearly.
The on-form athlete, Sjur Røthe, was stability incarnate on the third leg, where there was a leisurely pace until the final phase. National Team Coach, Vidar Løfshus, dubbed it a «lazy Sunday stroll».
Norway and Russia eventually exchanged simultaneously.
A long row of wins
The victory is the tenth in a row for Norge. The most recent loss came the last time the ski-the World Championships were held in Austria. that was in Ramsau in 1999. The cross country ski world’s most reliable anchor man at that time, Thomas Alsgaard, was beaten in a sprint to the finish.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg attended her first the World Championships exercise from the stands together with HM King Harald and Queen Sonja.
For the first time in a week and a half, the weather refused to cooperate on Friday. In the hours up to the start, it rained in Seefeld, where it has been brilliant sun for some ten days in a row. The day started with sleet and snow, which made the conditions nearly insufferable leading up to the event. After a heavy burst of rain, a few rays of sun fought their way through the cloud cover.
The male skiers round up the World Championships with the 50K freestyle, mass start, on Sunday. Then Røthe and Sundby are the hottest Norwegian medal hopes.
Medal overview after 18 of 22 events
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today