Cross country: Sweden's men complete relay double

Sun Feb 16, 2014 7:54am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Julien Pretot

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Sweden retained their Olympic men's 4x10km title at the Sochi Winter Games on Sunday, winning their second Olympic cross-country relay gold in two days.

With Russian President Vladimir Putin watching in the crowd, the host nation's team took silver and France, despite first leg skier Jean-Marc Gaillard breaking a pole early on, claimed the bronze.

A day after Sweden claimed the women's 4x5km relay, the men's team took the early lead and never looked back, with Marcus Hellner holding his country's flag aloft as he crossed the finish line in one hour 28:42 minutes.

Norway were expected to dominate the cross-country events with World Cup leader Martin Johnsrud Sundby and double Vancouver champion Petter Northug in their ranks but disappointed again, finishing fourth.

The men have one gold and a bronze medal from the first four events.

Northug, who dropped out of the 15km classic because of poor form, produced the best effort for Norway with the third best time of the fourth leg, but it was too late.

On Saturday, Norwegian women blamed their miserable fifth place finish on their skis.

Eldar Roenning said the men may have had the same problem.   Continued...

Sweden's Marcus Hellner celebrates after crossing the finish line during the men's cross-country 4 x 10km relay event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics February 16, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Barria