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Favorites Finland and Norway with team sprint gold

Thu, Feb  26, 2009 - By FIS

Finland with Aino Kaisa Saarinen and Virpi Kuitunen and Norway with Johan Kjoelstad and Ola Vigen Hattestad won the team sprint in Liberec and took the World Championship titles.

Saarinen and Kuitunen had a very strong race and finished in the final heat with a comfortable advantage of 20 seconds over Sweden (Anna Olsson and Lina Andersson). The bronze medal went to Italy with Marianna Longa and sprint world champion Arianna Follis. They finished 23,8 seconds behind the winner.

It was an exciting race where Aino-Kaisa Saarinen established a comfortable lead already in the first of three rounds. Sweden, Italy and Japan chased hard and tried to close the gap but the two ladies from Finland were too strong.

In the men's race, Ola Vigen Hattestad made the double and won after the sprint also the team sprint for Norway with his teammate Johan Kjoelstad. They finished in a very tight race just 0,5 seconds ahead of Germany (Tobias Angerer & Axel Teichmann). Finland (Ville Nousiainen & Sami Jauhojaervi) lost the photo finish sprint against Germany and took the bronze medal.

The race was from the beginning to the end tight and a total of 9 teams finished within 10 seconds. For Hattestad it was the second gold medal and Kjoelstad made also his second medal after silver in spring.