Kalla, Sweden steal gold in women's cross-country relay

The Sports NetworkFebruary 15, 2014 

Krasnaya Polyana, Russia (SportsNetwork.com) - Sweden won the gold medal in the women's 4x5-kilometer cross-country relay on Saturday behind a strong anchor leg by Charlotte Kalla.

Sweden trailed by almost 30 seconds heading into the final leg, but Kalla, the silver medalist in the 10km and skiathlon at Sochi, slowly but surely cut into the deficit before speeding past Krista Lahteenmaki of Finland and Denise Herrmann of Germany on the home stretch to secure Sweden's first gold in Sochi.

The Swedes posted a total time of 53 minutes, 2.7 seconds, while Finland built off its bronze medal effort in this event at the Vancouver Games by securing silver with a time of 53:03.2.

Germany, the silver medalists in Vancouver, brought home bronze after finishing .4 seconds after the Finns.

Norway had been dominant in this event since winning gold in 2010, but the 2011 and 2013 World Champions stumbled to a fifth-place finish on Saturday.

The United States, anchored by Jessica Diggins, ended up in ninth place.

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