Olsbu Røiseland’s Perfect Standing Stage Brings Relay Gold to Norway
Norway’s anchor leg Marte Olsbu Røiseland cleaned her standing stage to secure the IBU World Championship Women’s Relay Gold medal, with one penalty and eight spare rounds in 1:12:00.1. Olsbu Røiseland and her teammates Synnøve Solemdal, Ingrid landmark Tandrevold and Tiril Eckhoff finished 24.3 seconds ahead of Sweden. The Swedish squad won the Silver medal after their anchor Hanna Oeberg lost the lead after using all three spares to clean the final standing stage. Ukraine, with five spares claimed the Bronze medal, 35.1 seconds back.
One Big Happy Family
Tandrevold was thrilled with her First IBU WCH Gold medal. “It was really tough I am really happy we beat them in the end. Eckhoff started with, “It means we are…” with Tandrevold interjecting, “We are one big happy family.” Her teammate then closed with, “I am extremely happy to be on this team with these girls.”
Out First and Happy
Olsbu Røiseland, watching her Swedish Rival shoot was relieved with what she saw. “I saw Hanna shoot and she had to use some extra; I just go for it. I am so happy that I was first out. We took this medal together and I am happy for the whole team.”
Germany, with a penalty and fourteen spares finished fourth, 35.6 seconds back after a sterling anchor leg by Laura Dahlmeier. Russia, with twelve spares finished fifth, 43.6 seconds back, while Slovakia, with nine spares, was sixth, 53.1 seconds back.
Packed Stadium; Italy in First Leg
The stadium and tracks were packed with fans as the 23 women’s teams set off under cloudy skies, a -1C temperature, a bit of light snow in the air and a moderate breeze blowing into the athlete’s faces on the shooting range. The first prone was typically good with only one team, Italy’s Lisa Vittozzi needing a spare round. Several teams including Ukraine and the home team Sweden got the jump on Vittozzi by shooting clean in standing. However, the speedy Italian, even with two spare rounds held the lead at the exchange.
Vittozzi tagged Nicole Gontier five seconds ahead of Ukraine, with the USA and Sweden, following in the next nine seconds. The biggest first leg casualty was Germany back in 14th position after Vanessa Hinz picked up a standing penalty. The Italian shot carefully but clean, in both stages to retain the lead by 13 seconds going to the second exchange.
Sweden and Norway Move Up
Gontier lost time tagging Alexia Runggaldier just a half second in the lead after a sterling last loop by Clare Egan brought the USA up to the second spot. Ukraine was third, Sweden fourth with Norway lurking in fifth, just 27 seconds back as Tiril Eckhoff took the tag. Germany remained buried back in 10th, 1:38 off the front. Joanne Reid in the lead, held it with five steady shots, leaving a couple of seconds ahead of the Italian and seven in front of Sweden’s Anna Magnusson. Eckhoff, despite two spares move up to 21 seconds back, although still in fifth. She and Magnusson pushed the pace into the standing stage, closing the gap on the USA. Magnusson cleaned first to take a 14 second lead on Reid, while Eckhoff used all three spares, going to the penalty loop.
Oeberg In Control
Hanna Oeberg took the tag with a 17 second lead over the USA, with Ukraine and Norway third and fourth, 39 and 43 seconds back. Denise Herrmann added another brilliant last loop to bring Germany up to sixth, but still 1:03 back, while Italy with a penalty faded back to 10th at the final exchange. The 15K Individual World Champion stretched her into the prone stage to more than 35 seconds. She used two spares but still was gone before anyone else fired a shot. Dreissigacker shot clean to retain second for the USA while Olsbu Røiseland moved into third position, but 32 seconds back. Just after leaving the stadium the Norwegian and Ukraine’s Valja Semerenko moved into the second and third spots.
The relay queen of #2019Ostersund -- Marte Olsbu-Roeiseland anchors @NSSF_Biathlon to gold and wins her third gold of the World Championships!— IBU World Cup (@IBU_WC) March 16, 2019
Join us for the celebrations live on https://t.co/bk5aBBso9Q pic.twitter.com/hLBkkfW2r9
Olsbu Røiseland Cleans, Overtakes Oeberg
The Swedish star came to the final standing stage alone, 21 seconds up on her Norwegian rival. However she needed all three spares while Olsbu Røiseland cleaned in five to take a commanding 12 second lead, with 2K to go. Semerenko left in third, 20 seconds back. The podium was set.
Oeberg Not Sure What Happened
Oeberg found it hard to explain what happened with her last standing shots. “I came into the shooting range. I really enjoyed the position and everything. I think that today I just lacked some percentage of focus. I cannot tell why now…”
Third Relay Gold Medal
Olsbu Røiseland crossed the finish line waving the Norwegian flag, claiming her third relay Gold medal to go along with the other two in the mixed relay and single mixed relay.