Kalla brings the gold home for Sweden in ladies' relay
Sweden (Ingemarsdotter, Wiken, Haag, Kalla) won the gold medal in the ladies' 4 x 5 km relay in stunning fashion today, coming from almost 30 seconds back after the third leg to capture the victory in the final 100 metres. Finland (Kylloenen, Saarinen, Niskanen, Lahteenmaki) took the silver at the line over Germany (Fessel, Boehler, Nystad, Herrmann) who took the bronze.
It was a historic day for the ladies' from France with their best ever Olympic relay finish in 4th, ahead of Norway who ended up 5th.
RESULTS - Top 5
1. SWEDEN 53:02.7
INGEMARSDOTTER Ida 14:09.8
WIKEN Emma 14:02.3
HAAG Anna 12:40.2
KALLA Charlotte 12:10.4
2. FINLAND +0.5
KYLLOENEN Anne 14:21.2
SAARINEN Aino-Kaisa 13:51.3
NISKANEN Kerttu 12:14.1
LAHTEENMAKI Krista 12:36.6
3. GERMANY +0.9
FESSEL Nicole 14:13.4
BOEHLER Stefanie 13:59.9
NYSTAD Claudia 12:19.1
HERRMANN Denise 12:31.2
4. FRANCE +45.0
JEAN Aurore 14:12.1
AYMONIER Celia 14:13.8
FAIVRE PICON Anouk 12:34.5
HUGUE Coraline 12:47.3
5. NORWAY +53.6
WENG Heidi 14:12.0
JOHAUG Therese 14:13.5
JACOBSEN Astrid Uhrenholdt 12:34.5
BJOERGEN Marit 12:56.3
Complete results can be found HERE.
- This is Sweden's eighth medal in cross country at the Sochi Games, surpassing Norway on most by all NOCs. This is also a Swedish record, as it won seven medals in 2010.
- This is the first time Sweden has won gold in the women's relay since 1960. The last time it won a medal in this event was in 1968.
- Charlotte KALLA (SWE) became the first person to win three medals at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
- This was KALLA's fifth total medal, surpassing Toini GUSTAFSSON (SWE) as Swedish woman with most cross country Olympic medals.
- The only Swedish woman with more Olympic Winter Games medals is alpine skier Anja PARSON (SWE), who won six between 2002 and 2010.
- KALLA is the second Swedish woman to win three medals in cross country in a single Olympic Winter Games. GUSTAFSSON won three medals in 1968.
- Finland claimed silver, its ninth medal in the relay for women, and overtakes Soviet Union as the NOC with second-most medals in this event. Norway has 10.
- Germany took bronze and won its first medal in cross country at the Sochi Games. It has won medal in this event in four consecutive Olympic Winter Games, the longest active streak of all NOCs.
- Claudia NYSTAD (GER) was part of the German relay team on all four occasions. She equalled the record of four Olympic medals in this event held by Galina KULAKOVA (URS) and Gabriella PARUZZI (ITA).
- Norway has not lost a women's relay in a world cup, world championships or Olympic Winter Games since November 2009, when Sweden won the world cup race in Beitostolen, Norway.
Aino-Kaisa SAARINEN (FIN) - silver
On the Finland team's performance:
"This has been an amazing day for our team. We've had such a good atmosphere. Since yesterday we had karaoke and dancing. This was our day - we did a great race."
On the strength of individual performances:
"I've shown I can ski my perfect classic and Krista (LAHTEENMAKI, FIN) did the most excellent skating ever, she's such a good racer."
On the excitement of the race:
"This. . .was so exciting. I've done many relay races and this was the most exciting race ever. I'm so happy I had these youngsters with me. This team, it's like, amazing."
Ida INGEMARSDOTTER (SWE) - gold
On being third behind Eva VRABCOVA-NYVLTOVA (CZE) after the first leg:
"The Czech has been in really good shape so I wasn't surprised. It's nice to see someone at the front other than Norway."
"I had a good feeling in my body and when the Czech girl was going really fast I tried to go with her. I tried to go as fast as I could to give the second girl as good a chance as possible."
On Sweden's ladies cross country relay team being on the podium for the first time in 46 years:
"It's amazing. We haven't been on the podium since '68 and now we're standing as winners."
Anna HAAG (SWE) - gold
On being part of the Sweden ladies team:
"It's so fun to ski with these girls. When we were waiting for Charlotte in the finish area I could barely believe it. It was crazy. Charlotte was skiing like a god. I love these girls."
Charlotte KALLA (SWE) - gold
On the gold medal-winning performance of the Sweden team:
"Emma stayed in front of the whole group and Anna, she's the real fighter. I was so motivated when I got out on my lap. I cannot believe we're Olympic champions."