Cross country: Sweden win women's relay as Norway stumble

Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:09am EST
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By Julien Pretot

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Charlotte Kalla produced an astonishing comeback leg to earn Sweden an upset win in the Olympic women's cross country 4x5km relay at the Sochi Winter Games on Saturday.

Norway could do no better than fifth after winning all the World Cup and world championship relays since the Vancouver Games, where they also won gold.

Finland took silver and Germany won the bronze.

Kalla started the final leg 25.7 seconds behind Finland in third position but caught Krista Lahteenmaki and German Denise Herrmann some 300 meters out and won the sprint to the line.

"I was inspired by the others in my team. I knew we had really good skis. When I saw the German I just wanted to go for gold," Kalla told a news conference.

"I would have been satisfied with bronze but I knew if I fought very hard it would be possible to cross the finish line first."

There was nothing Herrmann and Lahteenmaki could do.

"I tried to attack in the last bend but it was really hard. I thought I could make a good sprint but others were fast, too," said Herrmann.   Continued...