ZHANGJIAKOU, China – Elvira Oeberg went to the front, exactly where she wanted to be, and stayed ahead all the way to an Olympic gold medal.
Oeberg anchored the Swedish team to victory in the four-women relay in biathlon on Wednesday, went fast and shot clean to win his third medal in the Beijing Games. Oeberg, who also took silver in the sprint and hunting races in his Olympic debut, put the Swedes over the line in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 3.9 seconds.
“It’s a special place to be, at the forefront of an Olympic relay in the last leg,” said Oeberg. “They could not have given me a better starting position, so today I really tried to focus on my own race and just do as I usually do in a sprint, for example, just do my thing.
“I’m really, really proud that I managed to keep it together.”
The Russian biathlete Uliana Nigmatullina went after Oeberg with about 24 seconds after the last shooting range and finished 12 seconds behind for silver in the 4×6-kilometer race.
“It makes a big difference if you ride the fourth leg or the first leg when you get the medal,” said Nigmatullina. “You feel a lot more when you finish a race, and maybe because of that, the girls still have a hard time realizing what happened and feeling it. I already felt it, and it’s top of luck.”
The Russian teammate Kristina Reztsova said that the silver confirmed the team’s hard work.
“It’s a very important medal for us because each of us really did our best throughout the season, throughout the year,” she said. “It was a very long and hard journey to get to this point, so now there is peace in my soul because I can say that not everything was in vain.”
Denise Herrmann finished third and gave Germany bronze, 37.4 seconds behind Oeberg. Herrmann also won gold in the individual race. Norway finished fourth, 50.7 seconds behind.
The Norwegians were in sixth place after Karoline Offigstad Knotten’s first leg, but Tiril Eckhoff fought on the rank and missed two in abdominal position and five in standing. She used her three extra rounds but still had to ride two penalty loops. It dropped the team to 11th place.
Strong performances by Ida Line and Marte Olsbu Roiseland moved the Norwegians up again, but it was too late. Although he missed this time, Roiseland has already won four medals at the Beijing Games – three gold and one bronze.
Germany, Sweden and Italy advanced early and the teams mixed positions several times, but the Swedes had the most consistent shooting.
Oeberg teamed up with Linn Persson, Mona Brorsson and her sister, Hanna Oeberg, for the gold medal.
The Oeberg sisters just missed a medal in the mixed relay by finishing fourth. Hanna Oeberg also won gold in the individual race at the Olympics in Pyeongchang 2018.