First medal for Cross-Country skiers — silver medal for DSV team, gold for Norway, bronze for Russia
Source: World Championship official web site http://www.oberstdorf2005.com/index.shtml?en_homepage&press=0000000543
Thrilling until the very last second: in the exciting Cross-Country Relay, the expected victory of the Norwegian team with Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset, Frode Estil, Lars Berger and Tore Ruud Hofstad became a rather minor matter. With a spectacular performance by Axel Teichmann in the last lap, the German team with Jens Filbrich, Andreas SchlÃ¼tter and Tobias Angerer achieved the impossible by winning the silver medal.
The Russian team with Nikolai Pankratov, Vassili Rotchev, Evgenji Dementiev and Nikolaj Bolchakov ranked third. It’s been more than ten years — 1993 in Falun/ Sweden — that Russia won a medal in a relay competition. Also spectacular was the victory of Lars Berger (Norway) who is the first biathlete to win a medal in a Cross-Country skiing contest.
Until the third hand-over, Norway with its extraordinary athlete Lars Berger and Russia with Evgenji Dementiev were dominating the race and competed for the gold medal. Far behind by approximately 45 seconds, the Germans and Italians were following.
After the astonishing performance of the position one skier Jens Filbrich, who kept up with the leading group made up of the Norwegian Odd-Bjoern Hjelmeset, Andrei Golovko from Kazakhstan and the Italian Giorgio di Centa, the German Andreas SchlÃ¼tter and the Italian Valbusa could not keep up with the high pace and fell about 30 seconds behind. â€œIn the second lap my muscles just languishedâ€, explains SchlÃ¼tter his fall-back.
Tobias Angerer had some difficulties as well and lost precious seconds against Norway, Russia and Italy on the Burgstall climb. â€œOn the last ascent I began to pass out. This has never happened to me before in my entire lifeâ€, clarified the athlete from Vachendorf after he had reached the finishing line.
Last position skier Axel Teichmann started the race being 45 seconds behind the third rank and 1:28 minutes behind the leading duo Tore Ruud Hofstad (NOR) and Nikolaj Bolchakov (RUS). But even in this apparently hopeless situation he kept a level head. When the Italian started struggling and the Russian couldn’t keep up with the pace of the Norwegian, Axel Teichmann ignited his famous â€˜turbo’ and got ahead of his Italian competitor. During a head-to-head race on the final spurt he also caught the Russian Nikolaj Bolchakov on the line and finished one second before him. â€œI think everyone could see that Axel is an extremely good skier. This he proved once again todayâ€, says the Federal coach Jochen Behle, rather pleased about the first medal of his team. â€œAll those who doubted the preparation we made for this event can ask themselves whether this was justified.â€
All rights by: Marco Felgenhauer www.XC-Ski.de