Sweden charge to victory in women’s biathlon relay

Thursday, January 6, 2011

OBERHOF - Sweden raced to a clear women’s 4×6km relay in the biathlon World Cup ahead of France and Belarus in Oberhof, Germany Thursday.

The Swedish team of Jenny Jonsson, Anna Carin Zidek, Anna Maria Nilsson and Helena Ekholm clocked 1 hour 17 minutes 53.1 seconds with one penalty round, heading France (three penalty rounds) by 52.3 seconds and Belarus (one penalty round) by 1:31.4.

Sweden moved into the top three after the third exchange and went on to win in style with anchor leg Ekholm accurate on the range.

Before around 20,000 home fans, the German women were unable to emulate the winning men’s team in Oberhof the previous day in windy and rainy conditions, finishing sixth.

The Germans had won in Hochfilzen, Austria Dec 16 with a team of Manuela Neuner, Kathrin Hitzer, Sabrina Buchholz and Andrea Henkel in the first women’s relay of the season.

But Thursday’s quartet of Hitzer, Neuner, Tina Bachman and Henkel made too many shooting errors, resulting in nine penalty laps, and the home side eventually trailed in behind fourth-placed Ukraine and Russian in fifth.

The World Cup continues Friday in Oberhof with a men’s 10km sprint.

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