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Swedes sweep cross-country relays with men’s 4x10km triumph

Sochi Olympics Cross Country Men

Sweden’s Marcus Hellner skis with a Swedish flag as his team wins gold during the men’s 4x10K cross-country relay at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Gregorio Borgia

Meatballs for everyone!

One day after the Swedish women took gold in the 4x5km relay thanks to Charlotte Kalla’s stellar final leg, the Swedish men followed that with a successful Olympic title defense in the 4x10km relay this morning.

With the flag of his country in his hand, Marcus Hellner (pictured) had an easy jaunt down the final straightaway and past the finish line before popping off his skis to celebrate with teammates Lars Nelson, Daniel Richardsson, and Johan Olsson.

Hellner, Richardsson and Olsson had already bagged individual medals in Sochi before today’s race; Hellner won silver in last weekend’s men’s skiathlon, while Olsson and Richardsson took silver and bronze respectively on Friday in the 15km classic.

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The Russians claimed silver to the delight of the home crowd, finishing 27.3 seconds behind the Swedes. Team France claimed the bronze at 31.9 seconds off the pace.

Meanwhile, the usually powerful Norwegians had another tough relay race this weekend, as the men finished off the podium in fourth.

We wonder if the mother of team member Martin Johnsrud Sundby will have anything to say about that, considering that she didn’t hold back about her son’s performance in the 15km classic...

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