2018 Olympics (PyeongChang, South Korea): Biathlon Women’s 4 x 6 k relay
Ranked just 10th coming into today’s women’s relay, the team from Belarus stole the show with Darya Domracheva skating across the line to claim the fourth Olympic gold of her career after strong efforts from Nadezhda Skardino and Iryna Kryuko, both of whom have stood on the World Cup podium before, and newcomer Dzinara Alimbekava, a 22-year-old newcomer with just 11 World Cup starts to her name. It was the first relay medal ever won by Belarus at the Olympics.
The setting was windy and snow-blown and the race was extremely tight, with seven teams with one penalty loop (or a few spare bullets) worth of time going into the final leg. The Belarusians’ nine spare rounds were the best shooting of the day; while that spare-round tally was matched by Slovakia, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, and Japan, those teams had penalty loops as well.
Sweden actually wasn’t one of them, but with perfect shooting and a fast ski time 15 k gold medalist Hanna Öberg brought the team to silver after starting the anchor leg in eighth, a minute back. She benefitted from many missed shots by the leaders, and then passed France’s Anais Bescond on the final loop to claim second, 10.7 seconds back, for her teammates (Linn Persson, Mona Brorsson, and Anna Magnusson) while France (Bescond, Anais Chevalier, Marie Dorin Habert, and Justine Braisaz) took bronze (17.6). These medal-winning teams used 12 and 14 spare rounds, respectively, an unusually high tally.
Norway (Synnøve Solemdal, Tiril Eckhoff, Ingrid Tandrevold, and Marte Olsbu) finished fourth, +29.7, Slovakia fifth (+38.4), Switzerland sixth (+43.5) after winning a photo finish against Poland (+43.6), and Germany finished seventh (+53.9).
The Canadian team of Sarah Beaudry, Julia Ransom, Emma Lunder, and Rosanna Crawford finished 10th, +1:33.4. Their shooting of eleven spare rounds and one penalty loop was among the better scores of the day.
The United States had a strong start, with Susan Dunklee tagging off in second place, Clare Egan maintaining a good position in fourth, and Joanne Reid rebounding from one bad shooting stage to tag off in sixth. Anchor leg Emily Dreissigacker crossed the finish line in 13th, +2:01.9.
2018 Olympics (PyeongChang, South Korea): Nordic Combined Team Competition
After sweeping the medals in the large hill competition, perhaps it was not a surprise that Germany won the nordic combined team event. It was a blowout: ranked second after the jumping round but starting the cross-country ski relay just six seconds behind Austria, the Germans quickly took the lead and then just extended it. Their team of Vinzenz Geiger, Fabian Riessle, Eric Frenzel, and Johannes Rydzek won by 52.7 seconds over Norway’s Jan Schmid, Espen Andersen, Jarl Magnus Riiber, and Jørgen Gråbak. Austria hung on for third, +1:07.8, with Wilhelm Denifl, Lukas Klapfer, Bernhard Gruber, and Mario Seidl.
The United States team of Taylor Fletcher, Ben Berend, Ben Loomis, and Bryan Fletcher lost out on a photo finish with Poland and finished 10th out of 10 teams, +5:16.7.