Gold for the Ukraine in the Women’s Relay

ukrainewomenThe Ukrainian team of Vita Semerenko, Juliya Dzhyma, Valj Semerenko and Olena Pidhrushna lifted the spirits of a troubled nation today with an inspirational victory in the Women’s Relay.

The Ukrainians are a well balanced team and were in contention from the very start. Solid shooting and steady skiing kept them in the hunt, while other strong teams faltered or suffered from falls due to the poor course conditions. Using only 5 extra rounds in total, the Ukrainians took the lead for good in the third leg and held on for a comfortable win.

Second place went to the Russians, much to the relief of the home crowd and the Russian sports authorities. The Russians did not achieve the individual success they wanted, but if their Men’s Relay team can join the Women with a medal result they will have plenty to be pleased about.

The bronze went to the strong Norwegian team, which ensured that they will finish at the top of the medal count, in terms of total medals. Only a Belorussian victory in the Men’s Relay can knock them off the top in terms of gold medals.

The Canadian and US teams were just outside of medal contention, but could not break into the top three. Zina Kocher gave everything she had in the final leg to catch up to Tora Berger, but by spending too much effort on the tracks she could not hold it together in the final shooting. In the end it was USA in 7th and Canada in 8th, which are best-ever performances for the Women’s teams in an Olympic Relay.

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