OlympicsRacingSweden Edged Norway For Men's Team Sprint Gold

FasterSkier FasterSkierFebruary 14, 2006

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

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