Arnekleiv/Christiansen Duo win Skidskyttekampen

Norway’s Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen in a familiar spot anchored his team with Juni Arnekleiv to victory in this evening’s inaugural Skidskyttekampen single mixed relay in Stockholm’s Olympic Stadium. Christiansen set up the Norwegian duo’s 26:25.5 victory, tagging Arnekleiv in first mid-way through the competition, then going unchallenged in the final two legs for the win.

“As fast as I could”

Arnekleiv called the final easier than the preliminary round. “It was better this time. I was calm shooting and my shape is good, so I was shooting and skiing as fast as I could. It went pretty well.”

“No shaky legs like Nove Mesto”

Christiansen admitted the victory was maybe not as easy as it looked. “It was so tough because on the first leg, Emilien (Jacquelin) put up a really high pace with me and Martin (Ponsiluoma) following. I could feel those laps on my standing shooting. But it worked out pretty well. No shaky legs like Nove Mesto so we are very happy to win here in Sweden.”

“Pure enjoyment”

With fans cheering loudly all evening, Christiansen called the atmosphere, “amazing. 10,000 people in such a compact stadium; something about the noise. It was quite loud to shoot. For sure we heard the Swedes pretty well. They were cheering loudly. It was pure enjoyment.”

Germany’s Janina Hettich-Walz and Philipp Nawrath finished second, with five spare rounds, the same as Norway, 12.1 seconds back. France’s Justine Braisaz-Bouchet and Emilien Jacquelin with nine spare rounds finished third, 13.1 seconds back.

Prior to the final, the eight teams competed in a preliminary round over 6 km, also won by the Norwegians, compared to the 12 km final.

“Love these competitions in cities"

All eight teams seemed to enjoy the format and venue, praising this late season break after a tough BMW IBU World Championships. Jacquelin told Nordic Magazine the competition in the 1912 Olympic Games venue was, “a dream for me. I love these competitions in cities. I think it is great for the sport.”

The BMW IBU World Cup season resumes this Thursday at the legendary Oslo Holmenkollen Ski Stadium with the Women’s 15 km Individual kicking off four days of competition.

Photos: Svenska Skidskytte

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