Norway‘s two out of two relay victories

Norway’s men team followed their female colleagues with Sturla Holm Laegreid, Tarjei Boe, Johannes Thingnes Boe, and Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen collecting the men’s relay gold at the IBU World Championships Biathlon 2021 Pokljuka. Sweden’s Peppe Femling, Jesper Nelin, Martin Ponsiluoma, and Sebastian Samuelsson collected the silver (+33.1), while RBU with Said Karimulla Khalili, Matvey Eliseev, Alexander Loginov, and Eduard Latypov finished third, 50.9 seconds back. Slovenia was eighth (+1:44.3).

Despite two spares Laegreid, who just turned 24 on Saturday, was the fastest one to tag. France’s Antonin Guigonnat needed three extra shots and a lot of effort to move up to the second place.

Tarjei Boe kept up the appearance, using 3 spares to clean the standing stage, while French Quentin Fillon Maillet earned a penalty and slipped down to seventh position. Super-fast Italy’s Lukas Hofer delivered a solid performance and tagged second and Ukraine’s Dmytro Pidruchnyi third, due to his impeccable shooting.

Italy’s Tommaso Giacomel went 5-for-5 in prone to close the gap Johannes Thingnes created on the field, but later, he had to hit the loop in the standing. It was Ukraine’s Artem Pryma who moved to the second position with one spare, following his clean-shooting teammates. Loginov tagged as the third.

Christiansen calmly sealed Norway’s win, while Latypov, Samuelsson, Jacquelin and Italy’s Dominik Windisch staged a thrilling battle for the remaining two places on the podium. It was Samuelsson’s superb performance that brought Sweden a silver medal, while Latypov managed to secure bronze for RBU.

“I don’t think many of the fans expected me to go the last leg today. Yesterday, we said to the Norwegian journalists that Johannes will go the last one. We wanted to keep it a little bit secret because we all know Jacquelin sprinted him down in the last race. We wanted to try me, especially because sprint here is very fast. What my teammates did today was amazing, they kept me in another league for the last leg. I could just enjoy this moment at the front and it was just a fantastic feeling,” Christiansen was super happy after his first race of the championships.

France was fourth (+1:02.0), while Ukraine finished fifth and Italy sixth, 1:12.7 and 1:35.5 seconds back, respectively.

MEN, 4×7,5 KM RELAY

1. Norway      1:12:27.4 (0+8) 
2. Sweden            + 33.1 (0+7)
3. RBU            + 50.9 (0+5)