Sweden continued its cross country skiing dominance by catching its third gold medal in this Olympics, this time in the men’s 4 X 10 kilometre relay.
The team of Daniel Rickardsson, Johan Olsson, Andres Sodergren and Marcus Hellner may have finished the first leg in third place, but after improving to first after the second leg, Sweden never looked back, ending with a time of 1:45:05.4.
Norway’s Petter Northug shaved 37 seconds off his team’s time in the final leg to capture the silver medal for his country. Czech Republic rounded out the medals, grabbing the bronze after finishing less than a second behind Norway.
Canada set another Olympic best in the event when they finished seventh place, finishing each leg with a higher rank. The lead skier Devon Kershaw admitted he was fatigued after competing in three other cross country events so far in the Olympics.
“I’m obviously not recovered from my team sprint,” Kershaw told CTV. “I thought I could do a bit better. I feel bad, that wasn’t a great race for me.”
Kershaw finished his leg in tenth place, after which Alex Hervey took ten seconds off his squad’s time to move to ninth place. Ivan Babikov got the team into seventh place after making up two more seconds during his run.
But seventh place is where they would end up staying after George Grey could not make up any time.
This seventh place is the best Olympic finish for cross country skiing since the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, a team that had Pierre Harvey as a member, who is the father of current skier Alex.