“Amazing Team Spirit”
Tandrevold was happy to bring her team to the top of the podium after third and fifth places, respectively in Kontiolahti and Hochfilzen. "I am so happy after third place in Kontiolahti and now on top of the podium is amazing. The whole team had amazing skis and an amazing team spirit. The coaches even did the sparkles today. It was a perfect day.” “Even the Germans were cheering for me”
As for the packed house in the Chiemgau Arena, “It was so amazing. I really heard all the Norwegians here and I felt that even the Germans were cheering for me also. It was a really special feeling. I also knew my mom and dad were in the stadium so I could almost hear their joy too!”
Regarding the Norwegian team spirit, leadoff leg Knotten added “We have always said we win together, and we lose together. Now we have the whole team together and tried to get as many waxmen and coaches to join us. It is going to be like this in the next relay; it is working…Good energy makes for good racing.”
Germany, with ten spares, came back from 12th at the first exchange to finish second, 15.3 seconds back. Italy, with the best shooting of the day, just four spare rounds, finished third, 33.5 seconds back.
Switzerland with a brilliant anchor leg by Lena Haecki-Gross, finished in a season best fourth place with ten spares, 36.3 seconds back. Czech Republic, with seven spares finished fifth, 57.6 seconds back. France, after leading for the first half of the competition, finished sixth, with two penalties and nine spares, 1:20.9 back.
The nineteen women’s relay teams faced a repeat of yesterday: a warm 4C, overcast skies, some wind on the shooting range and a raucous 15,000-person strong crowd cheering them on. Eight teams led by Norway cruised through the first prone stage unscathed, separated by just 10 seconds. Amy Baserga, Lou Jeanmonnot, Knotten and Austrian Dunja Zdouc all cleaned standing simultaneously, heading out of the range in a pack, almost 10 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
Jeanmonnot pulled away from the field, tagging Chloe Chevalier 4.5 seconds ahead of Aita Gasparin and another 10 seconds before Norway. Chevalier cleaned in five shots and was gone before anyone else fired a single shot. Lisa Vittozzi matched, leaving 28 seconds with Gasparin and Femsteinevik third and fourth. Chevalier was fast and clean again in standing; Vittozzi needed two spares to clean, putting her 30.5 seconds back.
Second leg Vanessa Voigt’s two clean stages jumped Germany up from 12th to fourth, prompting her to say, “I am really happy with my performance in the track and also in the shooting range. It was such a great race. My starting position was not the best one, but I tried to focus on myself, push really hard from the first meters.”
Chevalier gave Sophie Chauveau a comfortable 27-second lead over Italy at the exchange; Norway and Germany trailed at 46.8 and 57.2 seconds back. The big French lead disappeared with three spare rounds; Olsbu Roeiseland shot clean in prone, moving to 1.8 seconds back, quickly taking the lead before the standing stage where she shot blazingly fast and clean. Rebecca Passler also cleaned, moving Italy into second.
Olsbu Roeiseland added to the lead over her last 2 km loop, tagging Tandrevold 29.2 seconds ahead of Wierer and 39.7 seconds before Herrmann-Wick after Sophia Schneider’s comeback last loop.
Olsbu Roeiseland was excited to feel like vintage Marte, looking at her medal, she said, “I should wear this all day now. I am really happy…I felt like myself again. It was hard to start the season so late at Pokljuka; the 15K (this week) was a bit better and today. I felt like the old days. It was so fun to race with the team again…today was a team effort, not just the athletes but the trainers and the wax team…It was a really good day for Norway.”
Anchor leg Tandrevold blew through her prone targets. Wierer did the same, retaining second 34 seconds back. Herrmann-Wick used a spare, losing 10 seconds to Wierer. Tandrevold’s big smile told it all when she went to 10-for-10, cementing the Norwegian victory. Wierer and her German rival both used a spare round with the Italian leaving 1.5 seconds ahead of the devastatingly fast Herrmann-Wick, who promptly buried Wierer, settling into second, a dozen seconds ahead of the Italian.
Herrmann-Wick called the competition, and her battle with the fast-shooting Italian, “an amazing fight, especially with Doro. When you are together with her on the shooting range; most of that time you are not looking so good against her. The girls in front of me did a great job and put me in touch of the other relays…We did it in front of our home crowd which is amazing.”
Tandrevold did her little finish line jump, celebrating the win; Germany and Italy followed in second and third.
Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni, Igor Stančík