January 19, 2021

Samuelsson won the duel with Johannes Boe at the last shooting to deliver the victory to Sweden

Even after the dominating display by the French men in the pursuit the day before, they were only second favourites for this relay. According to our model Norway had in excess of 70 percent for winning.

After three legs Norway looked poised to win. France had dropped out of contention when Jacquelin had messed up the standing shooting for the second relay in a row. At the first exchange, Guigonnat had handed to Jacquelin with France sitting in third, just behind Norway and Finland, but after skiing two penalty loops Jacquelin was in eleventh almost a minute behind the leaders at the second changeover.

As Norway was in the lead at the final exchange and Tarjei Boe sent out Johannes Thingnes Boe it was easy to assume that Norway had this in the bag, but Sweden’s Sebastian Samuelsson had different plans. Sweden had been less than a second behind Norway at the last changeover and Samuelsson led Thingnes Boe coming in for the prone shooting, where Samuelsson hit five of five while Thingnes Boe required a spare round. Norway caught up on the tracks and these athletes were together again coming in for the standing shooting.

Just as had happened during the pursuit in Kontiolahti Samuelsson was more accurate than Thingnes Boe at the last shooting. While the Norwegian missed four of eight shots and had to ski an additional 150 meters, Samuelsson hit five of seven and despite encountering loading issues, he left the range with a commanding lead.

Samuelsson easily defended his lead on the last lap to ensure a Swedish victory.

Our biathlon model was surprised by the Swedish win as it only gave abut a three percent chance for Sweden winning before the start of the relay.

Norway was second after skiing one penalty loop and firing eleven extra shots.

Germany shot well, only needing seven spare rounds and was in contention for most of the relay. At the finish they were third some 44 seconds behind the winners.

Russia was in third place entering the shooting range for the final time, but dropped to fourth as Loginov failed to get all the targets down and had to do a penalty loop.

The Czezh Republic finished fifth after only using six extra shots. Krcmar on the last leg hit ten of ten and gained five places, from tenth to fifth, with the best time of the leg.

The French team was a disappointing sixth after encountering two penalty loops by Jacquelin and one by Fillon Maillet.

The home team, the Austrians finished in seventh. Julian Eberhard used all of his six spare rounds, but still had to do a penalty loop on the last leg.

Italy was eight after an uneven performance by their runners. Lukas Hofer produced the best leg time on the second leg, but Bormolino, Windisch and Bionaz did not deliver to the same standard.

The Belarussians disappointed a bit by only managing to get eleventh while the Finns did well to finish tenth after a very impressive first leg by Harjula which had them in second place at the first changeover.

Mathis Brorstad

Mathis Brorstad

Mathis Brorstad is a Norwegian freelance writer. He is mainly covering Athletics, Biathlon and other Winter Sports. In the past he has done work on odds and probabilities.

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