Norway wins relay, Bjoergen her fourth gold of 2011 Worlds

Marit BjoergenSweden had to do without Maria Rydqvist, a last hour drop-out from it’s women’s cross country relay team, but one has to wonder if it would have really mattered. Norway took the event by more than 36 seconds with Marit Bjoergen having the leisure on her final ski to the finish to grab a Norwegian flag and wave it merrily to the 50,000 fans on Holmenkollen stadium.

It was the fourth gold medal of the 2011 Nordic World Championships for the 30 year old Bjoergen even after skipping the sprint team event, but the race was well in hand before she took to the tracks. Vibeke Skofterud, Therese Johaug and Kristin Stoermer Steira did much of the work.

Sweden strode home for the silver and Finland got bronze.

Skofterud was part of a four team breakaway on the first leg, with Sweden and Italy appearing to have the upper hand, but Italy’s Antonella Confortolla Wyat skis had little glide as she took to the second leg and Finland’s Aino Kaisa Saarinen and Johaug caught her and continued in pursuit of Sweden’s Anna Haag. Johaug seemed to gain strength as Saainen lost hers, passed Haag and gave Stoermer Steira a lead of nine seconds at the exchange.

In the third leg Stoermer Steira took full control increasing the gap to 24 seconds and then to 34 at the exchange, leaving the only battle for second place. Charlotte Kalla earned the silver for Sweden by breaking away on the final uphill from the Finn Krista Lahteenmaki.

The U.S. team of Kikkan Randall, Holly Brooks, Elizabeth Stephen and Jessica Diggins finished ninth. Canada was 14th.

Place   Oslo
  Discipline   Rel 4×5 km M
Date   03.03.2011   Category   World Ski Championships
Race codex   2124   Gender   L
Valid for FIS Points   NO – Waiting reports   TD Name   Pekk Tiit (EST)
Rank Bib Name Nation Time FIS Points
 1 NORWAY      NOR 53:30.0
    SKOFTERUD Vibeke W.     13:58.8  
    JOHAUG Therese     13:47.7  
    STEIRA Kristin Stoermer     12:58.3  
    BJOERGEN Marit     12:45.2  
 2 SWEDEN      SWE 54:06.1
    INGEMARSDOTTER Ida     13:49.3  
    HAAG Anna     14:05.9  
    JOHANSSON NORGREN Britta     13:24.3  
    KALLA Charlotte     12:46.6  
 3 FINLAND      FIN 54:29.8
    MURANEN Pirjo     13:56.6  
    SAARINEN Aino Kaisa     14:03.6  
    ROPONEN Riitta-Liisa     13:20.3  
    LAHTEENMAKI Krista     13:09.3  
 4 ITALY      ITA 54:56.1
    LONGA Marianna     13:47.9  
    CONFORTOLA WYATT Antonella     14:56.3  
    RUPIL Silvia     13:18.7  
    FOLLIS Arianna     12:53.2  
 5 GERMANY      GER 55:11.8
    BOEHLER Stefanie     14:20.9  
    ZELLER Katrin     14:08.5  
    SACHENBACHER STEHLE Evi     13:23.5  
    FESSEL Nicole     13:18.9  
 6 RUSSIA      RUS 55:45.4
    NOVIKOVA Valentina     14:26.6  
    IKSANOVA Alija     14:50.4  
    TCHEKALEVA Yulia     12:56.6  
    MIKHAILOVA Olga     13:31.8  
 7 SLOVENIA      SLO 55:53.0
    ERZEN Anja     14:45.9  
    MAJDIC Petra     13:41.7  
    FABJAN Vesna     13:43.2  
    JEZERSEK Barbara     13:42.2  
 8 POLAND      POL 56:19.2
    MARCISZ Ewelina     14:52.7  
    KOWALCZYK Justyna     13:34.7  
    MACIUSZEK Paulina     13:46.0  
    SZYMANCZAK Agnieszka     14:05.8  
    RANDALL Kikkan     14:28.1  
    BROOKS Holly     14:55.8  
    STEPHEN Elizabeth     13:35.2  
    DIGGINS Jessica     13:25.6  
 10 JAPAN      JPN 56:25.8
    NATSUMI Madoka     14:28.8  
    ISHIDA Masako     14:13.5  
    KOBAYASHI Yuki     13:46.9  
    KASHIWABARA Michito     13:56.6  
 11 KAZAKHSTAN      KAZ 56:31.2
    KOLOMINA Elena     14:14.5  
    JATSKAJA Oxana     14:30.0  
    ROSHINA Tatjana     14:21.5  
    MALAKHOVA-SHISHKINA Svetlana     13:25.2  
 12 UKRAINE      UKR 56:52.6
    GRYGORENKO Kateryna     14:46.2  
    NESTERENKO Lada     15:17.1  
    SHEVCHENKO Valentina     13:14.7  
    ANTSYBOR Maryna     13:34.6  
 13 FRANCE      FRA 56:53.2
    JEAN Aurore     15:15.0  
    BARTHELEMY Laure     14:45.3  
    BOURGEOIS Celia     13:18.2  
    VINA Emilie     13:34.7  
 14 CANADA      CAN 58:19.2
    GAIAZOVA Daria     14:37.6  
    JONES Perianne     15:11.7  
    CRAWFORD Chandra     13:59.3  
    GOSLING Brooke     14:30.6



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