Norway wins 9th consecutive WSC 4 x10 km relay

(Lahti, Finland) - Norway has won it's 10th consecutive men's 4 x 10 relay gold medal at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Lahti, Finland.  It was a two team battle between Norway and Russia and despite a 17.7 second lead heading into the third exchange Russia's Sergey Ustiugov managed to cut the deficit to +4.6 seconds at the finish line but the gold was for Norway.  Russia took silver and Sweden battled back from 7th place after the second exchange to take the bronze.  Sweden's Marcus Hellner recorded the fastest third leg and brought the team into medal contention.  

Sweden had Calle Halfvarsson as the anchor and amongst the 4 team fight for the final podium position, he was the best finisher.  The games began early between Halfvarsson, Finland's Heikkinen, Germany's Boegl and Switzerland's Perl with no one wanting to lift the pace to early to thin the group down.  Sweden, Finland and Switzerland entered the final curve together with Halfvarsson leading the group.  A fall by Heikkinen on the final curve took Finland out of the  bronze medal battle.  Switzerland's Perl kept Halfvarsson honest all the way to the line arriving just 0.2 seconds behind in 4th. Heikkinen recovered in time from his fall to bring Finland across for 5th just ahead of Germany in 6th.  

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ATHLETE QUOTES

Finn Haagen Krogh (NOR)
Ustiugov is the worst you can have behind. Martin gave me just enough of a gap. I had to fight all the way. I really had to push myself.

Sergey Ustiugov (RUS)
I did what I could today. I gave it all. The conditions were very soft and I did not have the punch in my legs.

Marcus Hellner (SWE)
It was very good and we got back into the relay again. I tried to start very hard and I felt strong. Our goal was to finish on the podium and it feels really good.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS 

Men's 4 x 10 km relay

1. NORWAY 1:37:20.1
TOENSETH Didrik 1991 21:43.2
DYRHAUG Niklas 1987 21:35.7
SUNDBY Martin Johnsrud 1984 26:32.5
KROGH Finn Haagen 1990 27:28.7

2. RUSSIAN FEDERATION +4.6
LARKOV Andrey 1989 21:40.3
BESSMERTNYKH Alexander 1986 21:38.1
CHERVOTKIN Alexey 1995 26:50.7
USTIUGOV Sergey 1992 27:15.6

3. SWEDEN +2:31.8
RICKARDSSON Daniel 1982 22:17.6
OLSSON Johan 1980 22:37.7
HELLNER Marcus 1985 26:28.8
HALFVARSSON Calle 1989 28:27.8

4. SWITZERLAND +2:32.0
RUEESCH Jason 1994 22:11.6
BAUMANN Jonas 1990 22:11.1
COLOGNA Dario 1986 27:02.0
PERL Curdin 1984 28:27.4

5. FINLAND  +2:42.4
JAUHOJAERVI Sami 1981 22:09.6
NISKANEN Iivo 1992 21:39.0
LEHTONEN Lari 1987 27:49.6
HEIKKINEN Matti 1983 28:24.3

Full RESULTS