Classy Northug seals relay win for world champions Norway

Petter Northug turned on the style to secure 4x10km relay gold for world champions Norway at the World Cup in Beistolen

The 23-year old took over from Ronny Hafsaas for the final leg with ten seconds to make up on Germany’s Tobias Angerer and Russia’s Ilia Chernousov.

But world 50km freestyle champion Northug, who finished fourth in the men’s 15km race on Saturday, made light work of the difference and outsprinted Chernousov on the final hill to claim the win in front of a delighted home crowd.

Eldar Roenning and Martin Johnsrud Sundby and Hafsaas skied the other three legs for Norway before Northug eventually crossed the line in 1:48:50.7 hours with Russia second in 1:48:55.8 hrs and Germany third in 1:49:02.5 hrs.

The next time these 4x10km teams will meet is at February’s Winter Olympics in Vancouver and after the Norwegian’s performance, they will be hot favorites to add the Olympic title to their world crown.

Meanwhile, an inspired final leg from Charlotte Kalla handed Sweden victory in the women’s 4x5km relay.

The 22-year old, a former world junior champion for 5km, claimed her best World Cup result with silver in the women’s 10km race on Saturday.

But the Swede was determined to go one better on Sunday and out-sprinted her conqueror in the individual event, Norway’s Marit Bjoergen, to upgrade to gold.

Anna Olsson and Sara Lindborg started things off for Sweden while Anna Haag, bronze medallist behind Bjoergen and Kalla yesterday, completed the third leg as they finished in 58:37.1 minutes.

Norway eventually finished second in 58:53.8 mins with Finland third in 58:59.1 mins.

Source: More Than The Games

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