Sunday, May 29

Norwegian super team before the Olympic premiere: – Here anything can happen

ZHANGJIAKOU (VG) Norway will field one of the best quartets of all time during Saturday’s mixed relay, but the star team will not take the victory in advance.

THE NORWEGIAN TEAM: Tarjei Bø, Tiril Eckhoff and Marte Olsbu Røiseland will represent Norway together with Johannes Thingnes Bø during Saturday’s mixed relay in biathlon.

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On the merit list of the athletes who will represent Norway, there are an insane 44 World Cup gold medals. Johannes Thingnes Bø (12), Tarjei Bø (11), Marte Olsbu Røiseland (11) and Tiril Eckhoff (10) are all among the sport’s biggest profiles.

– I look forward to going the relay with the others here. I think we have an epic team, says Eckhoff to VG and other media.

WHO WHAT WHERE: See the entire Olympic program here.

The feats are so many that they are impossible to summarize with a few lines. Last season, Eckhoff won the World Cup overall. This year, Olsbu Røiseland is in the lead. Thingnes Bø has won the overall cup three years in a row, while big brother Tarjei Bø recently completed his collection of overall victories in the various World Cup exercises.

READY: Tiril Eckhoff has been training at the Olympic arena for a week.

Everyone except Olsbu Røiseland are Olympic champions from before, but she delivered in return one of the most expensive championships in history when she won five of seven possible golds during the World Cup in 2020.

– There is no one who is bigger favorites than the Norwegian team. You have France, Russia and Sweden who may be on an equal footing behind Norway, but we are big favorites, says former biathlete Liv Grete Skjelbreid to VG.

– It is a favorite distance for us. And I am on a team with the two best female biathletes in the world so everything is in place for this to be good, says Tarjei Bø and looks at Ekchoff and Røiseland who seem to smile behind the bandages here in China.

Little brother Johannes has been considered the world’s best biathlete on the men’s side for several years. The only thing that can stop the team seems to be the corona. Ice-cold wind and a demanding trail are challenges the Norwegian foursome should in principle have better conditions to cope with than anyone else.

– The trail is very special. I’m glad I’ve had several days here to prepare, says Eckhoff, who arrived at the Olympic city on Friday a little over a week ago together with Røiseland and sports manager Per Arne Botnan.

Also read: Extreme cold is ravaging the Olympic Village

He describes the trail as more demanding than it appears on paper. The first half consists of a steady ascent and there are many technical sections with turns and transitions.

FOCUSED: Johannes Thingnes Bø is considered the world’s best biathlete.

– You have to be awake when you walk. The trail absorbs forces upwards. When you think you should rest a little down, the headwind comes. You have to be smart in the way you manage the race here, Botnan says to VG at the same time as he assures that the team has analyzed the course thoroughly.

– Here anything can happen. I think it will be an Olympics where things will change a lot along the way, partly due to the wind conditions. It will be very special and very exciting to go, says Røiseland

The mixed relay consists of four stages of six kilometers and starts at 10.00 Norwegian time.

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