The Norwegian Team of Fanny Welle-Strand Horn, Tiril Eckhoff, Johannes Thingnes Boe and Tarjei Boe won a close victory over the Czech team of Veronika Vitkova, Gabriela Soukalova, Michal Slesingr and Ondrej Moravec in a close Mixed Relay competition today in Nove Mesto. The Norwegians used 6 spare rounds to the Czechs 5, as both teams were never far from the lead. The battle was decided in the final shooting stage, as Boe shot quickly and clean while Moravec needed a spare round.
Tens of thousands of spectators filled the bleachers and lined the course, demonstrating how popular the sport of biathlon has become in the Czech Republic. no doubt that the recent success of the Czech men and women’s teams have contributed to that popularity, and the fans were rewarded with a great performance and a second place finish for the home team.
Ukraine held off Russia for third spot on the podium, as each team’s hopes were dashed by a penalty loop: early for Russia, and late for Ukraine.
The US team of Susan Dunklee, Hannah Dreissigacker, Leif Nordgren and Sean Doherty were in the mix the whole race, and narrowly missed the flower ceremony in a sprint finish, winding up 7th. The 13 spare rounds they used were costly as for long periods of the race they were threatening to break onto the podium, but just couldn’t hit the vital shots.
Canada’s team of Audrey Vaillancourt, Rosanna Crawford, Nathan Smith and Brendan Green finished 14th, with two penalties and 13 spare rounds.
The next competions at World Cup 7 are tomorrow, with the Women’s Sprint at 6:30 Eastern, 3:30 Pacific and the Men’s Sprint at 9:30 Eastern, 6:30 Pacific.