Heidi Weng, Therese Johaug, Kristin Steira, Marit Bjoergen (NOR) (l-r)
Marit Bjoergen, Kristin Steira, Heidi Weng, Therese Johaug (NOR) (l-r)
Ida Ingemarsdotter, Emma Wikén, Anna Haag, Charlotte Kalla (SWE) (l-r)
Mariya Guschina, Alia Iksanova, Julia Ivanova, Yulia Tchekaleva (RUS) (l-r)
NORWEGIAN WOMEN SECURE AN INVULNERABLY WIN IN RELAY
As supposed nobody was able to fool team Norway consisting of Heidi Weng (NOR), Therese Johaug (NOR, Fischer), Kristin Stoermer Steira (NOR) and Marit Bjoergen (NOR, Fischer skis and boots) in women's relay. They won clearly ahead of Sweden and Russia.
The Norwegian quartet celebrated a supposed victory in women's relay race at World Champs in Val di Fiemme. Already their first skier Heidi Weng opened a large gap after increasing her speed after 2.5 kilometres so the Norwegians (almost) skied alone for the rest of the race. Only Justyna Kowalczyk (POL, Fischer skis and boots) showed a terrific performance during the second leg and caught up her 37 seconds start disadvantage second by second. Together they sent the third skiers into their race but at the end the Polish as expected came in only ninth. So nobody was seriously able to compete with the Norwegians. Therefore the fight for the other medals became very exciting. The Finns dropped back early in the race after two kilometres and a fall from Anne Kyllönen (FIN, Fischer skis and boots) who got stuck with a fence. Kerttu Niskanen (FIN, Fischer skis and boots) showed a great performance and was able to regain the chasing group. This group was led by Emma Wikén (SWE, Fischer) after the Swedes fell behind after a weak performance from their first skier Ida Ingemarsdotter (SWE). Due to Kowalczyk's high pace the chasing group fell to pieces, Sweden and Finland were the only chasers of Norway and Poland now and until the last exchange. Then Anna Haag (SWE, Fischer skis and boots) tried to attack at the last uphill before the exchange and Riitta Liisa Roponen (FIN, Fischer skis and boots) wasn't able to follow. Charlotte Kalla (SWE, Fischer) increased her advantage against Riikka Sarasoja-Lilja (FIN) more and more. The Finn was suffered with problems and wasn't able to keep strong Yulia Tchekaleva behind. So the bronce medal surprisingly went to team Russia along with Julia Ivanova, Ilia Iksanova, Mariya Guschina and their last skier Tchekaleva (all RUS, Fischer) who secured her second bronce medal. Fourth went to the USA consisting of Sadie Bjornsen (USA, Fischer), Kikkan Randall (USA, Fischer), Liz Stephen (USA) and Jessie Diggins (USA, Fischer) ahead of the Finns.