Cross-Country

Brandon Hicks - Sunday Feb. 16, 2014 07:14 ET

Marcus Hellner anchors Swedish cross-country relay gold

Canada finishes 12th

Marcus Hellner
Sweden's Marcus Hellner anchored the team's gold medal-winning race in the relay. (Odd Anderson/AFP/Getty Images)
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Sweden completed a sweep of the Olympic cross-country relays in Sochi, winning gold in the men’s event on Sunday to go along with the title won in the women’s event on Saturday.

The team of Lars Nelson, Daniel Richardsson, Johan Olsson, and anchor Marcus Hellner cruised to victory in the 4x10 km event, winning in a time of one hour, 28 minutes, and 42.0 seconds. 

Hellner was given a 14-second lead to work with, and stretched it to 27 seconds before crossing the finish line, waving a Swedish flag he grabbed from the crowd. 

Spurred by the home crowd and an appearance by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russia fought off a surprising France team for the silver, crossing the line in 1:29:09.3. France, not even expected to contend in this event, won bronze in 1:29:13.9.

The Canadian team of Len Valjas, Jesse Cockney, Graeme Killick and Ivan Babikov finished 12th in 1:33:19.0. Canada’s Devon Kershaw and Alex Harvey were left off the relay team, possibly being rested for the team sprint on Wednesday.

Coming off a disappointing result in the women’s relay, with the heavy favourites finishing fifth, Norway again failed to hit the podium, placing fourth with a time of 1:29:51.7, well off the top-three finishers.

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