Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Norway’s relay girls ready for the Olympics after a super run in the World Cup

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Amalie Iuel ran one of the stages when the Norwegian 4×400 meter relay team qualified for the Olympics. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB

Of NTB | 05.05.2024 05:13:59

Sport: Josefine Tomine Eriksen. Amalie Iuel, Lakeri Ertzgaard and Henriette Jæger lay in a cluster on the field and howled, hugged and cheered uncontrollably that the goal had been reached. Now it’s time for Paris and the Olympics.

The four ran in a time of 3:26.89, which held second place in the heat – behind the favorite USA, which was clocked in at 3:24.76.

The two best from each of the four heats go to the WC final – and get a ticket to the Paris Olympics with the purchase.

From there onwards, as expected, the USA took over the lead, while Norway and Belgium got a gap to the others in the field. It was a duel that would last all the way to the finish line.

Iuel showed that she can run fast even without hurdles and was in second place when the baton was handed over to Ertzgaard – with Belgium close behind.

Ertzgaard was followed by his Belgian competitor until the last change – and thus the stage was set for an intense duel in the last 400 metres.

Jæger delivered a phantom run and kept the Belgian girl the necessary meter behind her. When she crossed the finish line, she ran straight into the arms of Eriksen, Iuel and Ertzgaard and was able to let loose the cheers.

The Norwegian quartet secured both the WC final and Olympic ticket with what became a new Norwegian record for the distance.

The previous record was set at Bislett in 2022 and was 3.28.58. At that time, Iuel and Ertzgaard also ran – together with Elisabeth Slettum and Line Kloster.

It was Eriksen who set the tone when she ensured that the Norwegian team was barely ahead of the USA at the first change.

Norway’s time was the fifth best of the eight who qualified for the final on the night of Sunday. Ireland, Great Britain, Italy, Poland, Canada and France also secured Olympic tickets in the trial heats. Ireland was fastest of all, with 3.24.38.

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