The Norwegians reminded everyone today that they are the first nation in biathlon with victories in the Men’s and Women’s Relays.
The Norwegian Men won even without Ole Einar Bjorndalen, in an unusually close competition. 5 teams were within one minute of the Norwegians.
The Norwegians had one penalty and used seven extra rounds. The Russians were 13.9 seconds behind after using 5 extra rounds, and the French were in third, 31 seconds back with 6 extra rounds.
It was a good relay for the Americans, who came in 9th, 2:29.9 back with one penalty and ten extra rounds. The Canadians struggled to a 15th place finish, 4:24.1 back, also with one penalty and ten extra rounds.
A total of 22 teams competed in the Men’s Relay, which is a great sign for the development of new biathlon nations (even though 8 of them were lapped!).
The Norwegian Women won on the skiing strength of Tora Berger, who pulled away from Marie Dorin Habert of France on the final lap. The Norwegians used ten extra rounds. France finished 13.6 seconds behind after using only three extra rounds, an excellent shooting performance. The Russians ensured there were no new teams on the podium by finishing 29.4 seconds back, using 6 extra rounds.
In a switchup from the Men’s competition, the Canadian Women had a good competition while the Americans had a bad day. Canada finished 9th, 3:14.2 back after using 10 extra rounds. The Americans were lapped after struggling on the range with two penalties and 15(!) extra rounds.
The World Cup circuit will stay in Hochfilzen for the relocated IBU World Cup #3, which starts on 15 December and will feature the first Mixed Relay competition of the season.