Favourites triumph in Sprint Relay

Sergey Gorlanov, Russia, won his third gold medal in three days and Alena Trapeznikova, her second, when they teamed together to win the European Championships Sprint Relay today. Victory was by 52 seconds over Sweden, with Estonia coming through to take bronze in an exciting finish, just 7 seconds ahead of Finland.

Gorlanov continued his form of the previous two days, and Trapeznikova had clearly recovered well from her problems in the Middle Distance race. The pair, skiing three legs each, led at every changeover. Sweden’s race was a little more varied – Magdanela Olsson shared second place at the end of the first leg with Daisy Kudre (Estonia), and Markus Lundholm came in fifth after the second leg. Lundholm went out third on the last leg, and was able to pull up to second by the end.

The big surprise in the race was the performance of Estonia, fifth team to finish but third nation and therefore the bronze medallists. Daisy Kudre has already demonstrated her fine talent this season, not least with a win at Long distance in the first World Cup round, and she was extremely well supported here by Mattis Jaama, currently nineteenth in the IOF World Rankings. They held third place in the race through the second and third changeovers and then dropped to fifth.

Friday is a rest day, and competition continues on Saturday with the Long Distance race.

Leading results, Sprint relay

  1. Russia (Alena Trapeznikova & Sergey Gorlanov) 46:14
  2. Sweden (Magdalena Olsson & Markus Lundholm) 47:06
  3. Estonia (Daisy Kudre & Mattis Jaama) 47:50
  4. Finland 47:57, 5. Norway 48:47, 6. Czech Republic  49:28