ESOC: Victories to Sweden and Finland in Relays

Sweden’s women, 0.37 ahead of Estonia, and Finland’s men, with a gap of 2.23 to Switzerland, were the winners today in the Relays at Madona, Latvia on a cloudy and breezy morning.

The Swedish women’s team, apart from Linda Lindqvist whose illness has lasted longer, appeared to have fully recovered from yesterday’s stomach bug that prevented the whole of the Sweden senior team, apart from Gustav Johnsson, from competing. Sweden led throughout in the women’s race and finished with a comfortable lead over Estonia. This outcome was a fine achievement for Estonia, who were 5th after the first leg, up to 2nd after the second leg, and challenging for victory at one stage on the third. Bronze medallists were Switzerland, 1.37 down on the winners and ahead of both Norway and Finland.

Photos: Agris Veckalniņš /ESOC 2023

At the end of the first leg in the men’s race it was Finland’s second team in front with Norway’s second team just behind. Finland 1, in third place at this point, then took over the race and won by a convincing margin. However Switzerland were again in the medals, whilst Norway 2 did very well to maintain a strong challenge throughout to take bronze. Sweden came in 7th on the first leg, then Linus Rapp brought the team up to 4th, a position they then held to the end.

Apart from the senior women’s team this was an excellent day for Finland, where SkiO seems to be on the up in a big way this year. Today, Finland won W20, M20 and W17 in addition to M21 – 4 sets of golds! M17 was won by home nation Latvia, helped by a fine performance yet again from Ritvars Lepeskins on last leg.

The final race in ESOC is tomorrow: the Sprint Relay. This exciting format will be well worth watching on IOF Live – the start is at 10.00 local time.

Leading results, ESOC Relays

Women Open

  1. Sweden (Elin Schagerström, Evelina Wickbom, Lisa Larsen) 1:39:15
  2. Estonia (Epp Paalberg, Doris Kudre, Daisy Kudre Schnyder) +0.37
  3. Switzerland (Lea Widmer, Flurina Mueller, Eliane Deininger) +1.37
  4. Norway +2.12, 5. Czechia +10.16, 6. Finland +10.35

Men Open

  1. Finland (Eevert Toivonen, Aapo Viippola, Niklas Ekström) 1:39:43
  2. Switzerland (Gion Schnyder, Andri Jordi, Nicola Mueller) +2.23
  3. Norway (Isak Jonsson, Øyvind Wiggen, Vegård Gulbrandsen) +3.02
  4. Sweden + 3.11, 5. Czechia +8.13, 6. Latvia +8.32

W20: Finland by 0.54

M20: Finland by 1.54

W17: Finland by 4.45

M17: Latvia by 0.57 (Finland in second place)