Hakkinen skies final leg as US finishes 17th in relay

HOCHFILZEN, Austria — Norway won the men’s and women’s World Cup biathlon relays Sunday.

The Norwegian men used nearly flawless shooting to beat defending champion France in the 4x7.5-kilometer race. The team of Lars Helge Birkeland, Ole Einar Bjoerndalen, Vetle Sjastad Christiansen and Henrik L’Abee-Lund missed one target before finishing in 1 hour, 17 minutes, 55.2 seconds.

France also avoided penalty loops but lost time with six shooting mistakes and trailed Norway by 34.5 seconds. Russia had nine missed targets and came 46.6 behind in third.

It was the first men’s relay of the season.

The United States team finished 17th in 1:23:18.9, 5:23.7 behind the winners. Kasilof biathlete Jay Hakkinen skied the final leg for the Americans, coming up with four misses on the range but no penalty loops.

The Norwegian women’s team of Fanny Welle-Strand Horn, Synnoeve Solemdal, Hilde Fenne and Tora Berger missed five targets and finished in 1 hour, 11 minutes, 45.1 seconds to beat Ukraine by 30.4 seconds in the 4x6K relay.

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