Norway’s biathlon stars got off to a great start at the World Championships in the Czech Republic this week, winning gold in the mixed relay. Two men (Tarjei Bø and Emil Hegle Svendsen) and two women (Tora Berger and Synnøve Solemdal) were clearly proud of their victory, especially one of them.
Tarjei Bø had battled his way back onto the championship team after a long bout with illness that spoiled his season earlier. “This was a wonderful comeback for me,” Bø said, after his strong performance in the third lap of the relay allowed him to send anchorman Svendsen off at an advantage.
Bergen and Solemdal had both skied and shot well in the first two laps of the relay, allowing the Norwegians to finish ahead of the next-best teams from France and the Czech Republic itself. A roaring crowd of around 20,000 was delighted to see the home-turf team win the bronze.
“This had to have been the best mixed-relay team Norway has ever had,” Ola Lunde, commentator for Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) said afterwards. Norway led from start to finish and shot almost perfectly. The World Championships run through February 17.