Sweden sparked the attention of their rivals with their line up going into the race, after switching the positions of sisters Hanna and Elvira Oeberg. Hanna usually competes in the final leg of the relay events, but after Elvira took silver in the sprint and pursuit, Sweden hoped her confidence could bring yet more glory with a strong finish.
Germany led at the first exchange with Vanessa Voigt leading the charge, but Sweden were just half a second behind, despite one missed shot giving them an early shooting penalty.
Switzerland found themselves out of the race after a problem with their skis saw them stuck in the start zone ahead of the second leg.
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Tiril Eckhoff - who was part of Norway’s mixed relay gold medal winning team - struggled to keep composed and was unable to steady her gun, trembling her way to five target misses. Two penalty loops ended their chances of medal success, with them ultimately ending up fourth.
A strong run from Kristina Reztsova gave the Russian Olympic Committee a ten second lead coming through the second exchange, with Italy’s sprint bronze medallist Dorothy Wierer putting them in second place at the halfway stage.
The event hit a defining moment during the standing shoot of the third leg as Svetlana Mironova missed a shot, with Hanna Oeberg of Sweden, who was standing next to her title rival, knowing she now had the advantage. The pressure got to Oeberg who then missed a shot of her own, while Italy got down to business and completed a clean shoot through Samuela Comola.
This dramatic passage left Sweden leading Italy by a couple of seconds, with the ROC five seconds back and Germany faltering 33.7 seconds behind the leaders.
The Swedish team still had the lead as the Oeberg sisters completed the final exchange, knowing they were in pole position to upgrade their silver medal from PyeongChang.
Going into the final shoot, Oeberg hit three from three before missing her target just as Uliana Migmatullina of the ROC arrived at the shooting area. “Composure and control from Elvira Oeberg” was the call from the Eurosport commentary team, after she recovered to complete the full house before taking a 24.7 second lead as she headed for the finish line.
As the battle for gold slimmed down to Sweden and the ROC, further back there was catastrophe for Italy, who fell apart during the final leg, allowing Germany to take hold of third place. German racer Denise Herrmann knew she would need to be cautious though, with triple gold medallist Marte Olsbu Roeiseland bearing down on her in an attempt to rescue an unlikely medal for Norway after Eckhoff’s earlier shaky start.
Oeberg crossed the line to be embraced by her team-mates as she secured victory 12 seconds ahead of the ROC, while Germany finished 37.4 seconds later to take a bronze medal which had seemed so far away during the third leg.
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