Norway set pre-Olympics tone with biathlon mixed relay win

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Norway set pre-Olympics tone with biathlon mixed relay win

World champions Norway laid down a marker in Oberhof on Saturday with a dominant victory in the only mixed relay in the biathlon World Cup season before the Olympic Winter Games next month.

Tarjei Boe, Johannes Thingnes Boe, Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold and Marte Olsbu Roeiseland needed only six reloads as they crushed the field in the 4x7.5-kilometre competition in 1 hour 20 minutes and 41.2 seconds.

"It was not easy," insisted Roeiseland, who won the individual sprint on Friday. "I heard some not positive feedback from the coaches in the first loop. But I just tried to keep focused and do my job in the shooting range.

"Luckily for me, I have super team-mates that made this possible so I have to thank them."

Belarus took second but were 23.1 seconds back despite needing only five reloads.

France were third, more than 2 minutes behind with 11 reloads but it is fourth-placed Sweden - with three penalty loops and 10 reloads - who will at least see a potential path to challenging Norway in Beijing.

Hosts Germany were sixth behind Russia.

Norway showed themselves to be weaker in the single mixed relay, however, as they finished 16th of 18 nations, well behind winners Russia. Anton Babikov and Kristina Reztsova took one penalty loop and 12 reloads en route to triumphing in 41:37.1 minutes with Austria (1+13) 41.5 seconds behind and Ukraine (0+12) third.

Germany were seventh with Belarus, Sweden and Belgium also ahead of them.

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