Sweden without a chance in the relay – after 12(!) misses by Öberg and Samuelsson

Sebastian Samuelsson and Hanna Öberg have perfected their riding form.

The ability to dot the board is not as good. It is close to lousy.

Then it is difficult to win medals in a WC.

The Swedes shot away in the single mixed relay. France won ahead of Italy and Norway and Öberg sprinted in fourth a long way later.

Sebastian Samuelsson quickly got into trouble in the standing shooting. He burned two rounds and needed to reload all three of his extra rounds. He did not have to go on a penalty round, but left the embankment as the 15th rider.

And with barely half a minute up to leading Norway.

Hanna Öberg burned three shots, but approached the top. The medal chance remained, albeit small.

Had a hang over Italy

It seemed to disappear completely when Samuelsson could not get rid of his weak shooting. But five quick hits on the last visit to the embankment sent Hanna Öberg out in seventh, with 27 seconds up to Italy in bronze.

She had a boom in the last layup, but knocked seven seconds off Italy. The distance dropped steadily until the standing, last shot.

There, Öberg burned all his extra shots and the opportunity to reach the podium was gone.

Öberg and Samuelsson have long been a hard-working and reliable old couple when it comes to the single mixed relay in the WC context.

In 2019 and 2021, they each received a bronze medal around their necks. In 2020 and 2023, they just missed the podium.

Only one medal so far

National team coach Johannes Lukas found no reason to split the pair in Nove Mesto.

Samuelsson rode fast but had somewhat missed shots too much in Thursday’s distance race. It was enough for Lukas to give him another chance.

Öberg and Samuelsson could also lean on the fact that they won the only single mixed relay of the season before the WC, in Östersund in the World Cup premiere.

But Samuelsson’s and Öberg’s problem with the gun they took with them into the relay – and before the weekend’s final competitions, the Swedish biathletes stand with just one medal, the opening bronze in the mixed relay.