Sochi recap: Cross-country skiing, men’s team sprint

Finland brought some joy to their country with a rare win in the men’s team sprint.

Date: 19-Feb

Sport: Cross-country skiing

Event: Men’s team sprint (classical)

Medalists: Finland, Russian Federation, Sweden

SportsMyriad projections: Sweden, Finland, Norway

How U.S. fared: Simeon HAMILTON and Erik BJORNSEN spent most of the race in 8th place before coming through with a strong final lap to finish in 6th place.

What happened: Each team has two skiers who alternate laps. Six laps total, three laps for each skier. Each lap takes a little more than two and a half minutes.

The Russian team of Maxim VYLEGZHANIN and Nikita KRIUKOV was looking for glory on their home course. They’d face difficult challenges from Hannes DOTZLER and Tim TSCHARNKE of Germany and Emil JOENSSON and Teodor PETERSON from Sweden. France did not start a team, leaving the field at nine.

In the second lap, Norway’s Petter NORTHUG did well to gain the lead while skiing with a broken pole and receiving a new one while still moving. Northug would lead into the second exchange, followed by Russia and Sweden.

The Russians, Finns and Germans traded places throughout the final laps as Norway fell well behind. The Czech Republic’s Ales RAZYM fell on his own accord on the fourth lap; his team would finish last.

But the big story was in the final lap when Finland’s Sami JAUHOJAERVI and Germany’s Tim TSCHARNKE crossed skis, causing Tscharnke to fall – nearly taking out Russia’s Kriukov – and ending German’s hopes of a medal.

Jauhojaervi held strong to the line, earning Finland a gold medal in 23:14.89. Russia took silver and Sweden the bronze. As the jubilant Finns took a victory lap, Germany was left to wonder what had happened.

Full results

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