Norway and Finland take gold in team sprints
Norway for the ladies and Finland for the men are the 2014 Olympic gold medalists in the team sprint competition. Norway was clear of silver medalists Finland and Sweden overtook Germany for the bronze on the homestretch. Finland for the men held off Russia to take gold, and Sweden came through for the bronze after Germany fell coming off the final downhill into the stadium.
It was the first gold medal in cross country at Sochi 2014 for Finland, who were represented by Iivo NISKANEN and Sami JAUHOJAERVI (FIN).
The collision between JAUHOJAERVI and Tim TSCHARNKE (GER) enabled Sweden, represented by Emil JOENSSON and Teodor PETERSON (SWE), to come through to take the bronze medal.
Germany had taken silver at Vancouver 2010 and were looking to go one better. Russia, who took bronze four years ago, did go one better, Maxim VYLEGZHANIN and Nikita KRIUMOV (RUS) winning silver medals.
The victory by Iivo NISKANEN (FIN) and Sami JAUHOJAERVI (FIN) in the men's cross country team sprint classic on Wednesday gives Finland its first gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games since 2002, when Samppa LAJUNEN (FIN) won gold in Nordic combined.
- It is Finland's first medal in the men's team sprint classic.
- Silver medallist Russia has won a medal in this event three times in as many attempts. Russia took a bronze medal in this event in 2006 and 2010.
- Bronze medallists Emil JOENSSON (SWE) and Teodor PETERSON (SWE) each won a medal in the sprint free event at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Marit BJOERGEN (NOR) won her fifth gold medal at the Olympic Winter Games, leaving her one shy of the record by a female winter Olympian, the six by speed skater Lidia SKOBLIKOVA (URS) and cross country skier Lyubov YEGOROVA (EUN/RUS).
- BJOERGEN also won her ninth Olympic medal of any colour. The record for most medals by a female winter Olympian is 10, by Raisa SMETANINA (URS/EUN) and Stefania BELMONDO (ITA).
- Norway won its fourth gold medal in cross country skiing at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
- Finland took silver through Aino-Kaisa SAARINEN (FIN), who in the process won her fifth career Olympic medal. Only one female Finnish winter Olympian has more - Marja-Liisa KIRVESNIEMI (FIN) with seven.
- Sweden won a third medal in this event in as many attempts. Sweden won gold in the ladies team sprint in 2006, silver in 2010 and now bronze in 2014.
1. FINLAND 23:14.89 (NISKANEN Iivo, JAUHOJAERVI Sami)
2. RUSSIAN FEDERATION +0.97 (VYLEGZHANIN Maxim, KRIUKOV Nikita)
3. SWEDEN +15.12 (JOENSSON Emil, PETERSON Teodor)
4. NORWAY +18.66 (HATTESTAD Ola Vigen, NORTHUG Petter jr.)
5. SWITZERLAND +21.01 (COLOGNA Dario, COLOGNA Gianluca)
1. NORWAY 16:04.05 (OESTBERG Ingvild Flugstad, BJOERGEN Marit)
2. FINLAND +9.09 (SAARINEN Aino-Kaisa, NISKANEN Kerttu)
3. SWEDEN +19.77 (INGEMARSDOTTER Ida, NILSSON Stina)
4. GERMANY +20.92 (BOEHLER Stefanie, HERRMANN Denise)
5. POLAND +31.49 (JASKOWIEC Sylwia, KOWALCZYK Justyna)
Complete results are available HERE.
Emil JOENSSON (SWE) - bronze
On winning bronze:
"I'm really satisfied but I feel sorry for the German (Tim TSCHARNKE) who fell."
On Sweden's performance so far at Sochi 2014:
"We thought we'd be lucky to get seven medals. Now we have 11 or something - it's crazy."
Teodor PETERSON (SWE) - bronze
On winning bronze after Tim TSCHARNKE (GER) fell:
"It was a really fast race. Maybe we would have been fourth if Germany hadn't fallen but stuff happens and we were a bit lucky. When I look back at the finish and saw Tim lying on the snow, I felt bad for him. I wasn't thinking about the medal."
Aino-Kaisa SAARINEN (FIN) - silver
On whether she was worried that the Finnish men's sprint team would be disqualified after a collision with Germany:
"No, of course not. Everything is clear."
Kerttu NISKANEN (FIN) - silver
On her brother Iivo NISKANEN (FIN) winning a gold medal in the men's team sprint:
"Our Finnish boys were first place. That was my little bro, I am so happy for him."
Nikita KRIUKOV (RUS) - silver
On winning silver rather than gold:
"I'm proud to have the Olympics in my country but I wanted to win. When the German(Tim TSCHARNKE) fell I lost coordination."
Iivo NISKANEN (FIN) - gold
On teammate Sami JAUHOJAERVI's race:
"Unbelievable. Sami was fantastic in the last lap. Everything was perfect. He was really fast on the last uphill and he made it."
Sami JAUHOJAERVI (FIN) - gold
On the emotions of winning gold:
"It was fun to do something that you might not have expected. Emotions came when I was with my physiotherapist at the end, as I have spent a lot of time with him. Emotions are up and down - mainly up."
Ida INGEMARSDOTTER (SWE) - bronze
On winning bronze:
"It's really nice. It's our 10th medal of these championships. We had a great day and Stina had a great finish. Every centimetre that she was taking off(Denise) HERRMANN (GER), I was like yes, yes."
Stina NILSSON (SWE) - bronze
On coming from behind to take bronze on the last lap by a margin of 1.15 seconds over Germany:
"I felt very strong. I was making metres and metres on HERRMANN and it was great to pass her at the finish line."
On her surprise at Sweden winning a medal in this event:
"It was a dream but I never thought this would turn out so well. I have felt in great shape for the whole of the championships."
Ingvild Flugstad OESTBERG (NOR) - gold
On winning gold:
"It's amazing, I can't believe it. It's my first Olympics and to get silver (in the individual sprint free), and now a gold medal. Great thanks to the waxing guys."
On whether it feels good to beat Sweden:
"It's fun to beat everyone, not just Scandinavians."
Marit BJOERGEN (NOR) - gold
On good skis contributing to their gold-medal performance:
"It was incredible. I didn't think it would be possible to fight for the gold medal but we had perfect skis - the waxing guys did a great job."
On the wax technicians solving previous ski issues:
"We had some problems but they worked very hard. I'm proud of the whole Norwegian team."
On the strength of the Norwegian women's team:
"Maiken (Caspersen FALLA, NOR) was also good enough to be on this team. We have the strongest team ever. Maybe this is my last Olympic medal and I'm happy to take it with Ingvild (Flugstad OESTBERG)."