OlympicsRacingScott, Renner Win Silver In Team Sprint!

FasterSkier FasterSkierFebruary 14, 2006

Beckie Scott and Sara Renner earned silver medals for a very impressive performance in the women's classic Olympic Team Sprint today. Making the feat even more impressive, the Canadians had to overcome a broken pole in the final to earn their medals! The Swedish team of Anna Dahlberg and Lina Andersson took gold in a furious sprint to the line, while Finland was third.

The American team of Wendy Wagner and Kikkan Randall did an excellent job of qualifying for the final, where they finished 10th.

Race Recap:

There were 8 teams in each women's semifinal, with the top five moving on to the final.

In the first women's semifinal, the Finnish team and the Canadian team were in control the whole way, opening a gap on the other three qualifying teams from Italy, Japan, and Kazakstan.

Ladies' Team Sprint Semifinal 1						
1	FIN	SAARINEN Aino Kaisa	KUITUNEN Virpi  	17:16.8	--  	Q 
2	CAN	RENNER Sara	SCOTT Beckie   	17:19.3	2.5	Q 
3	ITA	FOLLIS Arianna	PARUZZI Gabriella  	17:32.6	15.8	Q 
4	JPN	NATSUMI Madoka	FUKUDA Nobuko  	17:33.1	16.3	Q 
5	KAZ	JATSKAJA Oxana	KOLOMINA Elena  	17:36.3	19.5	Q 
6	FRA	BOURGEOIS PIN Elodie	PERRILLAT Aurelie  	17:54.5	37.7	 
7	SLO	FABJAN Vesna	BENEDICIC Maja  	18:59.5	+1:42.7  	 
8	UKR	MALETS LISOGOR Marina	ZAVALIJ Tatjana  	19:14.1	+1:57.3  	 

In the second women's semifinal, there was a breakaway on the 3rd lap of the top five teams: Sweden, Norway, Germany, Russian and USA. On the next lap, Bjoergen opened up a lead and the Norwegians cruised on to win the heat. Wagner and Randall held on to fifth place comfortably to advance to the final as well.

					
 Ladies' Team Sprint Semifinal 2						
1	NOR	GJOMLE Ella	BJORGEN Marit  	17:14.4	--  	
2	RUS	MOSKALENKO-ROTCHEVA Olga	SIDKO Alena  	17:32.1	17.7	Q 
3	SWE	DAHLBERG Anna	ANDERSSON Lina  	17:33.5	19.1	Q 
4	GER	SACHENBACHER STEHLE Evi	BAUER Viola  	17:34.7	20.3	Q 
5	USA	WAGNER Wendy	RANDALL Kikkan  	17:51.4	37	Q 
6	CZE	BALATKOVA ERBENOVA Helena	RAJDLOVA Kamila  	18:11.6	57.2	 
7	CHN	WANG Chunli	JIANG Chunli  	18:18.4	+1:04.0  	 
8	EST	PORMEISTER Piret	SIRGE Kaili  			 

In the women's final, Sara Renner charged to the front along with Saarinen of Finland. The pack was still very tight as Renner tagged off to Scott, along with the other teams. Marit Bjoergen made a impressive charge up the hills on the second lap to bring Norway into the second exchange in the lead, with Scott close behind, along with Sweden and Finland. Those four teams had broken away from the rest.

On the third lap, disaster struck as Sara Renner broke a pole with a a few hundred meters before the hand-off. She got a pole quickly, but it was not the corrrect size and she dropped back a bit as she struggled to get back into the groove. Renner tagged off to Scott about 5 meters behind the leaders. Beckie quickly put on a surge to bridge the gap early in her next lap and take the lead at the end of her second lap.

At the final exchange, there were still four teams fighting for 3 medals. Sweden, Finland and Canada were in front with Bjoergen charging from just behind. Into the finishing stretch, Lina Andersson of Sweden, Beckie Scott, and Virpi Kuitunen of Finland were dead even. Bjorgen was unable to catch up. As Kuitunen faded, Scott dug deep, but Andersson was just too strong. Gold to Sweden, Silver to Canada, and Bronze to Finland!

Congratulations to Beckie and Sara!


Women's Team Sprint Final 		

RANK	COUNTRY	NAME	 	FINISH 	DIFF 
1	SWE	DAHLBERG Anna	ANDERSSON Lina  	16:36.9	-- 
2	CAN	RENNER Sara	SCOTT Beckie  	16:37.5	0.6
3	FIN	SAARINEN Aino Kaisa	KUITUNEN Virpi  	16:39.2	2.3
4	NOR	GJOMLE Ella	BJORGEN Marit  	16:48.1	11.2
5	GER	SACHENBACHER STEHLE Evi	BAUER Viola  	17:03.5	26.6
6	RUS	MOSKALENKO-ROTCHEVA Olga	SIDKO Alena  	17:08.5	31.6
7	ITA	FOLLIS Arianna	PARUZZI Gabriella  	17:24.8	47.9
8	JPN	NATSUMI Madoka	FUKUDA Nobuko  	17:27.6	50.7
9	KAZ	JATSKAJA Oxana	KOLOMINA Elena  	17:42.8	+1:05.9 
10	USA	WAGNER Wendy Kay	RANDALL Kikkan  	18:04.9	+1:28.0


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