32-year-old increased lead to 19.8 seconds in 3rd leg of 4×5 km relay race
Therese Johaug’s thunderous third leg set Norway up to win gold in the women’s 4x5km relay at the FIS Ski World Championships on Friday, with the Russian Ski Federation team coming second and Finland taking bronze as Sweden’s hotly-tipped team flopped.
Cousins Tiril and Heidi Weng skied the first two legs in classic style to hand Johaug, who had already claimed two individual gold medals in Oberstdorf, a lead of 2.6 seconds at the halfway point ahead of the two freestyle legs.The 32-year-old increased that gap to 19.8 seconds after a smooth, powerful display over her two laps to set up teenager Helene Marie Fossesholm, who comfortably held off the challenge of Natalia Nepryaeva to secure the gold by 26.6 seconds.
Finland, the United States and Germany fought out a titanic last-lap struggle for third, with Krista Parmakoski and Jessie Diggins breaking away over the second-last climb, and the Finn edged out the American in a sprint finish to win bronze by eight-tenths of a second.
Reigning champions Sweden fell apart completely as Charlotte Kalla’s disastrous second leg left them one minute and 39 seconds behind the Norwegians at the halfway point, wiping out any chance they had of making the podium.
In the Nordic Combined individual large hill event, Austrian teenager Johannes Lamparter made the most of the 22-second head start he secured after the ski jump to romp to victory over Norway’s Jarl Magnus Riiber.
The 19-year-old junior world champion added the senior crown with a superb performance on his cross-country skis, reaching the line 37.1 seconds ahead of Riiber, with Akito Watabe of Japan taking the bronze, 8.7 seconds behind the Norwegian.