OWG PyeongChang 2018 - Ladies 4 x 5 km relay preview
17 February 2018 00:58
PYEONGCHANG - Marit BJOERGEN (NOR) can equal the record for most medals at the Olympic Winter Games when the ladies' 4x5km relay is held on Saturday 17 February at the Alpensia Cross-Country Centre.
- On 15 February, BJOERGEN took bronze in the ladies' 10km free to win her 12th Olympic medal.
- With that bronze medal BJOERGEN equalled Bjoern DAEHLIE (NOR) in all-time second place at the Olympic Winter Games with 12 medals, behind only Ole Einar BJOERNDALEN (NOR, 13).
- Including the Olympic Games, BJOERGEN has now equalled four other women on 12 medals - canoe sprinter Birgit FISCHER (GER) and swimmers Jenny THOMPSON (USA), Dara TORRES (USA) and Natalie COUGHLIN (USA), behind only gymnast Larissa LATYNINA (URS, 18 medals).
- BJOERGEN can win her seventh Winter Games gold medal. Only DAEHLIE (8) and BJOERNDALEN (8) have won more.
- BJOERGEN (NOR) has appeared in the 4x5km relay in each of the last four Olympic Winter Games, winning gold in 2010 and silver in 2002. BJOERGEN could make a record-equalling fifth appearance in this event (including 3x5km relay) at the Olympic Winter Games, joining Gabriella PARUZZI (ITA), Stefania BELMONDO (ITA), Marja-Liisa KIRVESNIEMI (FIN), Katerina NEUMANNOVA (CZE) and Valentina SHEVCHENKO (UKR).
- BJOERGEN will be 37 years and 333 days old on the day of this event and could become the second-oldest Olympic champion in this event (incl. 3x5km relay) after Raisa SMETANINA (EUN), who was 39 years and 354 days old when she claimed gold in 1992.
- Defending champions Sweden could become the first NOC in 20 years to claim back-to-back Olympic titles in the ladies' 4x5km relay,
- Sweden won the 4x5km relay at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and could become the first NOC to claim back-to-back Olympic gold medals in this event since Russia in 1994-1998.
- Swedish women have won two of the three ladies' cross-country events at PyeongChang 2018 so far: Charlotte KALLA (skiathlon) and Stina NILSSON (sprint classic).
- KALLA can join three other athletes on a record four Olympic Winter Games gold medals for Sweden.
Gunde SVAN (SWE), Sixten JERNBERG (SWE) and Thomas WASSBERG (SWE) have all claimed a record four gold medals among Swedish athletes, all in cross-country skiing
- Only JERNBERG (nine) has claimed more total medals at the Olympic Winter Games among Swedish athletes than KALLA (six).
- Germany is the only NOC to have won a medal in the 4x5km relay in each of the last four Olympic Winter Games. The only NOCs to have recorded a longer medal streak in this event are Norway (7, 1980-2002) and Soviet Union (7, 1956-1980).
- Stefanie BOEHLER (GER) will be 36 years and 355 days old on the day of this event and could become the oldest Olympic medallist from Germany in the 4x5km relay. Claudia NYSTAD holds the record . She was 36 years and 14 days old when she grabbed bronze in 2014.
- BOEHLER (2) claimed silver in the 4x5km relay in 2006 and bronze in 2014 and could join Evi SACHENBACHER-STEHLE (3) in second place on Germany's all-time Olympic medal list in this event. Only NYSTAD (4) has claimed more among Germans.
- Norway finished fifth in the 4x5km relay at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and could fail to reach the podium in this event in consecutive GAMES for the first time since 1956 (4th), 1960 (did not compete) and 1964 (did not compete).
- Aino-Kaisa SAARINEN (FIN) took silver in the 4x5km relay in 2014 and bronze in 2010 and could become the first athlete from Finland to collect three Olympic medals in this event (incl. 3x5km relay). She currently shares the record of two with eight other athletes.
- SAARINEN (G0-S1-B1), BOHLER (G0-S1-B1) and BJOERGEN (G1-S1-B0) could all complete the medal set in the 4x5km relay. Only Galina KULAKOVA (URS, G2-S1-B1), Alevtina KOLCHINA (URS, G1-S1-B1) and NYSTAD (G1-S2-B1) have bronze, silver and gold in this event (incl. 3x5km relay).
- USA is hoping to become the first non-European NOC to win a medal in this event (incl. 3x5km relay) at the Olympic Winter Games.