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Norway wins men’s relay at biathlon worlds

February 16, 2013

NOVE MESTO, Czech Republic (AP) — Ole Einar Bjoerndalen earned his 19th biathlon world championship title Saturday as Norway lived up to its powerhouse status in the men’s relay, winning the gold medal in the discipline for the fourth straight time.

Emil Hegle Svendsen anchored the Norwegian team to victory in the 4x7.5-kilometer race in 1 hour, 15 minutes, 39.0 seconds for his fourth gold at the championship.

“It was easy for me because the other guys did a perfect job,” said Svendsen, who skipped Thursday’s individual race because of a cold. “I felt physically good.”

The 39-year-old Bjoerndalen, a six-time Olympic champion widely considered the sport’s all-time great, earned his first gold of these worlds after racing the opening leg.

“It’s really great,” said Bjoerndalen, who missed three targets at the shooting range but skied fast and finished his leg third, just 4.1 seconds behind leading Germany. “I felt strong today.”

Henrik L’Abee-Lund and Tarjei Boe were the remaining racers on the winning team. France finished a distant second, 1 minute, 12.8 seconds behind, and Germany took the bronze, trailing Norway by 1:18.5.

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