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Third straight Marc-Hodler-Trophy for Norway

FIS Junior World Ski Championships

Mon, Mar  19, 2007 - By FIS

The 2007 FIS Nordic Junior World Ski Championships and U-23 Cross-Country World Ski Championships concluded in Tarvisio (ITA) on Sunday. For the third time in a row, Norway collected the coveted Marc-Hodler-Trophy with 139 points, followed by Germany with 85 and Finland with 75 points. For the Trophy, nations are awarded points according to their athletes' placement, whereby a maximum of two competitors per nation may score points in the individual races. Charlotte Kalla of Sweden was the most successful athlete with four medals, two gold and two silver medals.

The last competitions on the schedule on Sunday were the Cross-Country ladies' and men's relays and the Nordic Combined sprint race. In the ladies' 4x3.3km relay, Norway took the lead in the first leg where Celine Brun-Lie posted the fastest leg and kept it until the end with the help of strong performances by Therese Johaug, Marte Monrad-Hansen and Astrid Jacobsen. In the end, Sweden took the silver just 2.6 seconds behind Norway due to the excellent final leg by Charlotte Kalla. The bronze medal went to Finland, some 46 seconds behind the winner and 6 seconds ahead of Italy in 4th place.

The men's 4x5km relay turned out to be a highly exciting competition. At the first exchange, Russia was in the lead, followed by Slovakia and Sweden with Norway, one of the favorites, only 17th. In the second exchange, Kazakhstan had taken the lead ahead of Finland. In the third leg, Magnus Engstroem of Sweden claimed the pole position and brought his team to the exchange in the lead ahead of Austria and Russia. The fight for the medals culminated in the final sprint where Sweden's Adam Johansson prevailed just 0.3 seconds ahead of Russia with Andrey Parfenov and 4.5 seconds ahead of Austria with Johannes Duerr. Norway was left with the 4th place, 14.6 seconds behind winner, despite the fastest leg time posted by Eirik Saeves.

In the Nordic Combined sprint, Eric Frenzel, from Oberwiesenthal, Germany, took the gold medal. Fourth after the ski jumping competition, he earned the victory ahead of Anssi Koivuranta (FIN), the World Champion in the Gundersen event. Alfred Rainer (AUT) took the bronze, as in the Gundersen event.