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Cross Country Skiing at the 1968 Grenoble Winter Games:

Women's 3 × 5 kilometres Relay

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Events:
Phases:

Host City: Grenoble, France
Venue(s): , Autrans
Date Started: February 16, 1968
Date Finished: February 16, 1968

Gold: NOR Norway
Silver: SWE Sweden
Bronze: URS Soviet Union

Summary

After placing 2-3-6 in the 5 km event, the defending champion Soviet Union was favored to win the relay three days later. Their strongest opponents seemed to be Sweden with double Olympic champion Toini Gustafsson as their strongest card. In 1964, the Norwegian ladies were considered too weak, and Norway did not even enter a team for the women’s relay. However, at the 1966 World Championships in Oslo the Norwegian girls had surprised the home crowd by taking a very popular silver medal behind the Soviets after a close battle with Sweden.

On the first leg, Norway’s Inger Aufles surprised everybody by leaving her closest rivals Finland, Soviet and Poland around 25 seconds behind, with Sweden in fifth position another 14 seconds behind. Toini Gustafsson skied an excellent second leg for Sweden with the fastest leg-time of the day, but Norway’s Babben Enger-Damon, considered as the weak point on the Norwegian team, fought bravely and sent Berit Mørdre out on the anchor leg with a 15 seconds lead ahead of Sweden, the Soviets in third place another 20 seconds behind. Mørdre skied the fastest anchor leg of the day, and the Norwegians won a surprising gold with a comfortable margin, 21 seconds ahead of Sweden and with Soviet Union another 22 seconds behind in bronze position.

Final Standings

Rank Team NOC Medal T
1 Norway NOR Gold 57:30.0
2 Sweden SWE Silver 57:51.0
3 Soviet Union URS Bronze 58:13.6
4 Finland FIN 58:45.1
5 Poland POL 59:04.7
6 East Germany GDR 59:33.9
7 West Germany FRG 1-01:49.3
8 Bulgaria BUL 1-05:35.7