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Norway wins dramatic sprint finish in JWOC relay

Friday, 13 July 2007

Norway won the women's gold medal in the JWOC relay on Friday after a dramatic sprint finish. Sweden's Jenny Lonnkvist, after setting out with the lead, opened a gap on the field of over a minute, and looked set to take the gold when she still had a minute in hand at the start of the final loop. Siri Ulvestad, though, was closing the gap, and when Lonnkvist lost time on the final loop they hit the pre-warning almost together. Lonnkvist still had a narrow lead at the final control, but Ulvestad overtook her in the chute and held on to win by a metre. 

The bronze was also decided in the final loop, as Switzerland's Sabine Hauswirth overtook the Finnish and Czech runners to take third. Russia completed the podium in sixth.

After a close first loop, Jan Benes, who had previously had a disappointing week, ran a fabulous second leg for the Czech Republic  to open up a clear lead on the field. At one stage he was nearly two minutes up, and he handed over a minute ahead. It didn't look enough, with double gold medallist Olav Lundanes running last leg for Norway, but Adam Chromy ran a superbly controlled race, maintaining the gap between 30 seconds and a minute throughout to give the Czechs an upset win.

Latvia's bronze was equally unexpected; the Czech second team were ahead of them but do not count officially. Sweden were fourth, Switzerland fifth and Finland sixth.

The Australian women recovered from a slow start to finish 11th, whilst the men were 19th, the highlight being Simon Uppill's second leg where he ran a similar time to Benes.

A link to official results will be added once all teams are in.

News Listing
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Norway wins dramatic sprint finish in JWOC relay Friday, 13 July 2007 Norway won a dramatic sprint finish against Sweden in the women's relay at JWOC, whilst the Czech Republic held off the Norwegians for an upset win in the men's event.
Lundanes wins second gold as Lonnkvist blitzes field Thursday, 12 July 2007 Olav Lundanes won his second gold medal of the week at the JWOC middle distance, whilst Jenny Lonnkvist blitzed the field to give Sweden their first gold of the week.
World champion misses out on middle final Wednesday, 11 July 2007 JWOC long distance champion Siri Ulvestad was the major casualty as the middle distance qualification took place on Wednesday.