HomeTag Ilia Semikov

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Sunday, for the men’s 4 x 7.5-kilometer relay in Lahti, Finland the scene was decidedly more fitting for winter sport: The race began amidst falling snow despite bare firs and hardwoods lining the course. It’s been a sparse winter in Lahti.  Eleven teams contested the relay, with ten nations represented; Russia fielded two teams. The U.S. was not represented.    For the first 7.5 k leg, Russia I’s Ilia Semikov and Russia II’s Andrey Sobakarev...

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Call it what you want: national pride, national bias, flag-waving: the team relays elicit nationalistic tendencies. In Lillehammer, Norway, you might think and maybe expect it’s your birthright to see the hometeam crush. That’s been the recent norm almost without exception.  Here’s the quick stats to either dispel or reinforce those tendencies: Norway has won nine of the last 11 relay races on the World Cup. Russia won the other two. In fact, Russia took...