Norway Rebounds for Soldier Hollow Men’s Relay Win

Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen anchored a comeback win for Norway in the Men’s 4 X 7.5 km Relay this afternoon in 1:13:12.3 at the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center. The Norwegian foursome of Christiansen, Sturla Holm Laegreid, Tarjei Boe and Johannes Thingnes Boe had three penalties with five spare rounds in their season-ending win. Laegreid put the Norwegian squad in a huge hole with three standing penalties, dropping them to 18th at the first exchange. Tarjei brought the Norwegians back to third, with his brother rebounding further, setting up Christiansen with a 36-second lead, leading to the victory.

“It ain’t over until it’s over”

Christiansen was not so sure early in the competition that he would be crossing the line with the victory. “I did not think after that first leg that I would exchange out in the lead. As I said before after Nove Mesto, it is perhaps the beauty of biathlon, ‘It ain’t over until it’s over.’”

"Best relay team ever”

He admitted the team was motivated by the stadium announcer. “We got a lot of American spirit from the spectators and the guy in the box commentating, I think he mentioned ten times that we were the best relay team ever. It really motivated us to strike back. I am really happy to finish the relay season with a win.”

Seventh Consecutive World Cup Relay title

The win gave Norway the World Cup Relay Score Crystal Globe for the seventh consecutive season.

Italy, with eight spare rounds and Lukas Hofer’s strong anchor leg finished second, 26.5 seconds back. Germany, also with eight spares finished third, 27.3 seconds back.

The home team USA finished in a season-best fourth place, with a penalty and nine spares, 1:30 back. Sweden also with a penalty and nine spares finished fifth, 1:46.5 back. Austria with eight spares finished sixth, 3:12.1 back.

Laegreid Stumbles

After several days of adjusting to the time change from Europe and the 1800 meters of altitude, soft snow and bright sunshine greeted the 21 relay teams. Norwegian leadoff Laegreid cleaned prone easily, but fell apart in standing with the penalties, tagging Tarjei in a huge hole.

Tarjei and JT

French second leg Emilien Jacqulin moved into the top spot, cleaning prone quickly, leaving his rivals a dozen seconds back; Tarjei moved into 11th. Jacquelin two standing penalties gave Italy the lead; Tommaso Giacomel tagged Didier Bionaz 31 second up on Ukraine. Tarjei brilliant leg moved Norway to third, 36 seconds back. JT closed the gap and cleaned standing, putting Norway on top for the first time, 36 seconds up on the USA and Germany, with Italy fourth at the last exchange.

Header icon2024 BMW IBU World Cup 8 Soldier Hollow Men's 4 X 7.5 km Relay

Christiansen Seals Comeback Win

Christiansen cleaned his prone carefully; Hofer using six shots, left second, 37 seconds back with Nawrath third. Christiansen’s six standing shots sealed the comeback win. Hofer and Nawrath left standing together; the Italian outsprinted the German for second in the last 50 meters.

Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni

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