Norway wins men's biathon relay at Vancouver Olympics

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Norway won the men's biathlon 4X7.5-kilometer biathlon relay on Friday after veteran Ole Einar Bjoerndalen pulled away to win the eighth gold for the Scandinavian country at the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games.

The Norwegian team of Halvard Hanevold, Tarjei Boe, Emil Hegle Svendsen and the 36-year-old Bjoerndalen finished first in one hour 21 minutes and 38.1 seconds, followed by Austria who finished 38.6 seconds behind.

Russia, who lost to Austria for the silver in a neck-to-neck finsh, had to settle for the bronze with another 0.2 seconds back.

It was the 11th medal for Bjoerndalen, the top-ranked biathlete on the World Cup scene, as well the 300th for Norway in the Winter Olympics.

Holding the Norwegian flag in his right hand, Bjoerndalen crossed the finish line in 20 minutes 24.4 seconds in a heavy snow.

"That was an incredible feeling, I don't want to have so many memories before I finish," he said. "I went at my maximum. I just do my job. That's me and that's what I like."

"This feeling is good, but the most important is we won today," he said of his 11th-medal achievement. "My shooting was fantastic, I went fast and skied great. I'm really satisfied with my race. It was perfect."

He said he would compete at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, in hopes of matching the Winter Games record of 12 medals held by Norwegian cross-country skier Bjorn Daehlie.

But it was a disastrous experience for Christoph Sumann, who beat Evgeny Ustyugov of Russia at the finish to win the silver for Austria.

"It was the most evil race of my life," he said. "At the first shooting, I shot and shot and shot, and I couldn't believe it - all targets still black."

"Towards the end, I dug out all my sprint qualities, but this race was certainly not nice to look at," he said.

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