Members of the Sweden team -- from left, Daniel Richardsson, Johan Olsson, Marcus Hellner and Lars Nelson -- pose for pictures after winning the gold medal in the men's cross-country skiing 10-kilometer relay on Sunday at the Laura Cross-Country Ski and Biathlon Center during the Sochi Olympics.
(Odd Andersen / AFP / Getty Images / February 16, 2014)
SOCHI, Russia -- Sweden completed a double in Olympic cross-country relays Sunday when its men's team successfully defended its title in the 4-by-10-kilometer event.
A day after its women's team earned a narrow come-from-behind victory, Swedish anchor Marcus Hellner skied alone for the entire fourth leg and grabbed a Swedish flag to wave as he entered the stadium and went leisurely down the final straight.
Russia took silver in front of President Vladimir Putin. France finishing third.
Hellner started the fourth leg with a 14-second lead on Russia's Maxim Vylegzhanin, and quickly extended the gap. Sweden won by 27.3 seconds.
It was another disappointing day for Norway, which had fallen a minute behind by the second exchange and ended up fourth, a day after its heavily-favored women surprisingly failed to get a medal.
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