Hellner shines in 30 km Pursuit

20 February 2010 22:50

Marcus Hellner of Sweden won 30 km Pursuit in Whistler. Swedish team were teaching a lesson from tactics. After classical part a big group of 25-30 athletes were skiing together. Soon after change over Johan Olsson (SWE) opened a gap and managed to increase a escape up to 15 sec. Group of chasers was getting smaller and smaller as Lukas Bauer (CZE) was setting a pace big part of skating half. Marcus Hellner and Anders Soedergren moved to front positions. In the last Free technique leg Alexander Legkov attacked and tried to catch Olsson. Only Hellner, Angerer and Northug managed to keep the pace with Legkov. Hellner was leading the group and caught Olsson in the last uphill before finish. After the last curve in the finnish Hellner attacked and nobody could answer. Tobias Angerer of Germany finished second just 2,1 second behind the winner while Johan Olsson won bronze medal ( + 2,8 seconds). Just edged out of the podium finished Alexander Legkov (RUS) fourth and local favourite Ivan Babikov (CAN) fifth.

The 24-year-old Hellner from Gällivare in the north of Sweden made an amazing race and took his first ever Olympic Gold medal: "It was a really good day for us. In the last lap there were some guys trying to catch Johan who was in front and I just followed them. I felt very strong in the last uphill so I could made it to the victory."

Tobias Angerer was the only one who was able to follow at the end the speed of the Swedish top skiers and he took with that his fourth Olympic medal: "I am very happy with the Silver medal because Marcus was a little bit stronger than me and I have to accept it. For me it was a perfect race, I was able to go faster round by round and I'm really satisfied to have won a medal here in Whistler." Tobias Angerer had in between also some problems with the poles and got a new pole from the Swiss Team.

"Twenty-five seconds was not enough with the bunch in the back. I was not going to give up in the final lap and I'm just happy to won a medal. I thanks as well to our technican, I guess I had the best ski's of all the bunch," commented Johan Olsson after his great performance at the pursuit race.

The Swedish king, a strong supporter of the Cross-Country sport, visited the pursuit race of the men's today and congratulate all the top three skiers after the race.