Germany′s Tobias Angerer claims cross-country silver | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 21.02.2010
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Germany's Tobias Angerer claims cross-country silver

German cross-country skier Tobias Angerer has won a silver medal in the 30-kilometer (19-mile) pursuit at the Vancouver Winter Olympics. He finished behind Swede Marcus Hellner.

cross-country skiers taking a curve during a race

The Swedes used team tactics to control the tempo of the race

Angerer finished 2.1 seconds behind Hellner, with another Swede, Johan Olsson, receiving the bronze after leading for much of the closing freestyle stage of the race.

The Swedes used team tactics commonly seen in the Tour de France, such as attempting to disrupt the tempo of the race and blocking rivals from challenging for the lead.

Sweden's Marcus Hellner, left, and Germany's Tobias Angerer

Angerer (right) was just pipped to the finish line by Hellner

Angerer, although affected by the Swedish strategy, said he was delighted to claim his fourth Olympic medal.

"They tried to stop the rhythm of the group," he said of the Swedish plan. "But the tactic was really good because in the end they have two medals so they did everything right. For me, it was okay because I won the silver medal."

The 32-year-old won silver and bronze medals at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin in the 15-km and 10-km cross-country events, as well as a bronze at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Norwegian Petter Northug had been hotly tipped to take out this year's event, but dropped back to 11th place after losing one of his poles in a collision with Hellner with 1.5 km to go in the race.

Of Angerer's German compatriots, Jens Filbrich finished in sixth place, 13.6 seconds behind the pace, while Rene Sommerfeldt came in 21st, and Tom Reichelt rounded off the German team's performance by ranking 35th.

The pursuit consists of a 15-km section raced in the classical style on a prepared trail, followed by a 15-km freestyle segment. In between the sections, skiers change skis and poles.

dfm/Reuters/dpa

Editor: Toma Tasovac

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