Gustav Bergman went out in third place on the last leg for Sweden, but with a confident run he overhauled both Finland and Norway to bring Sweden to gold by 1.34. Finland held on for the silver medals, and France pulled up a place to take the bronze.
Heavy rain had made its mark – the competitors splashed through standing water just metres from the start. It had no effect on the quality of competition, however, and as is often the case the first leg ended with a pack at the front – this time, thirteen nations within sixteen seconds. Australia and Finland held the leading positions. This included most of the leading nations, with Norway’s Gaute Hallan Steiwer well up, although Switzerland was a bit behind.
Double individual gold medallist Olav Lundanes had an almost trouble-free run on leg 2 to bring Norway in to the second changeover with a 33-second lead over Finland. Sweden (Emil Svensk) came next, followed by France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
Leg 3 was memorable in particular for the dominating run by Gustav Bergman. Setting off 1.22 down, he had Norwegian Magne Dæhli in sight by the arena passage, and after a mistake by Dæhli, almost caught up with him. “I could see Dæhli, looking over his shoulder from time to time to see where I was, so I knew he was stressed,” said Bergman afterwards. “ I knew then that if I ran my own race I would win.” And so it proved, with Dæhli making another mistake at the end of a long leg and not being seen by Bergman again.
With a late start on a day of rain and heavy cloud, the organisers made headlamps available for the final-leg runners, if they wanted them – for reading the maps in areas of thicker forest, where it was quite dark in the later stages of the race.
Leading results – men
- Sweden (Johan Runesson, Emil Svensk, Gustav Berman) 1:40:42
- Finland (Aleksi Niemi, Elias Kuukka, Miika Kirmula) 1:42:16
- France (Nicolas Rio, Frederic Tranchand, Lucas Basset) 1:42:25
- Czech Republic 1:42:32
- Norway 1:42:37
- Switzerland 1:43:25