Sweden won a very tightly contested men's team sprint final as Bjoern Lind out-poled Tor Arne Hetland in the final stretch. The US and Canadian men, who all had high hopes for this race, were unable to advance to the final in a very tough semifinal heat.
The men's semifinals were much more crowded than the women's, with 13 and 12 teams competing for 5 spots.
In the men's first semifinal, it stayed very close the whole way. Going into the final two laps, there were 7 teams in the hunt for 5 qualifying spots: Sweden, Finland, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic, Estonia, Japan, and Slovakia. On the last lap, Bjoern Lind made a strong attack to take the win for Sweden. Czech Republic in second, Slovakia in third, Finland in fourth. Japan and Kazakstan got tangled up as they fought for the final qualifying spot, but Kazakstan eventually got to the line first.
Men's Team Sprint Semifinal 1 1 SWE FREDRIKSSON Thobias LIND Bjoern 17:34.0 -- Q 2 CZE KOZISEK Dusan KOUKAL Martin 17:34.9 0.9 Q 3 SVK BAJCICAK Martin BATORY Ivan 17:36.1 2.1 Q 4 FIN KURTTILA Keijo PYYKONEN Lauri 17:39.2 5.2 Q 5 KAZ CHEBOTKO Nikolay KOSCHEVOY Yevgeniy 17:42.6 8.6 Q 6 JPN EBISAWA Katsuhito ONDA Yuichi 17:46.6 12.6 7 EST NARUSK Priit SAAREPUU Anti 18:07.4 33.4 8 SLO BRODAR Nejc MEHLE Joze 18:34.4 +1:00.4 9 UKR BILOSYUK Ivan MARTSYV Vitaly 18:50.4 +1:16.4 10 CHN LI Geliang TIAN Ye 18:57.4 +1:23.4 11 ROM ANTAL Zsolt GALICEANU Mihai 19:04.3 +1:30.3 12 TUR OGLAGO Sabahattin KIZILARSLAN Muhammet 19:46.5 +2:12.5 BLR DOLIDOVICH Sergei LASUTKIN Alexander DNS
In the second semifinal, the US team of Chris Cook and Andy Newell and Canadian sprinters Devon Kershaw and George Grey were up against strong teams from Norway, Russia, Germany and Italy, among others. On the first handoff, the Norwegian Hetland fell and had to spend a lot of energy to catch back up to the pack. But Svartedal quickly turned the tables by setting a furious pace to string the pack out a bit on his second lap. Norway, Russia and Germany were in front pack with Canada, Italy and Poland following. The Canadians hung tough until the end, but had to settle for 6th and did not advance. After a promising start for the US team, they finished 7th and also did not advance.
Men's Team Sprint Semifinal 2 1 NOR SVARTEDAL Jens Arne HETLAND Tor Arne 17:22.1 -- Q 2 RUS ALYPOV Ivan ROTCHEV Vassili 17:22.2 0.1 Q 3 GER FILBRICH Jens SCHLUETTER Andreas 17:22.6 0.5 Q 4 ITA SCHWIENBACHER Freddy DI CENTA Giorgio 17:26.2 4.1 Q 5 POL KRECZMER Maciej KREZELOK Janusz 17:27.1 5 Q 6 CAN KERSHAW Devon GREY George 17:31.2 9.1 7 USA COOK Chris NEWELL Andy 17:54.9 32.8 8 SUI BURGERMEISTER Reto EIGENMANN Christoph 18:00.6 38.5 9 AUT EDER Johannes PINTER Juergen 18:12.2 50.1 10 KOR CHOI Im-Heon PARK Byung Joo 19:40.0 +2:17.9 11 CRO JURCEVIC Damir KLOBUCAR Denis 19:43.1 +2:21.0 ARM SARGSYAN Hovhannes KHACHATRYAN Edmond DNF
In the final, it was a three team race. Norway, Russia and Sweden dominated the race. As they came into the homestretch, it was a dead heat as three of the top sprinters in the world, Bjoern Lind (Sweden), Tor Arne Hetland (Norway), and Vassili Rotchev (Russia) poled furiously to the finish. It went back and forth right up to the line, when a final lunge by Lind gave Sweden its second Team Sprint Gold Medal. Norway was second, and Russia third.
RANK COUNTRY NAME FINISH DIFF 1 SWE FREDRIKSSON Thobias LIND Bjoern 17:02.9 -- 2 NOR SVARTEDAL Jens Arne HETLAND Tor Arne 17:03.5 0.6 3 RUS ALYPOV Ivan ROTCHEV Vassili 17:05.2 2.3 4 GER FILBRICH Jens SCHLUETTER Andreas 17:14.0 11.1 5 FIN KURTTILA Keijo PYYKONEN Lauri 17:21.5 18.6 6 KAZ CHEBOTKO Nikolay KOSCHEVOY Yevgeniy 17:25.1 22.2 7 POL KRECZMER Maciej KREZELOK Janusz 17:26.3 23.4 8 SVK BAJCICAK Martin BATORY Ivan 17:30.9 28 9 ITA SCHWIENBACHER Freddy DI CENTA Giorgio 17:31.3 28.4 10 CZE KOZISEK Dusan KOUKAL Martin 17:49.6 46.7