Host City: Oslo, Norway
Venue(s): Holmenkollen Cross Country Centre, Oslo
Date Started: February 23, 1952
Date Finished: February 23, 1952
The Finnish squad was heavily favored in the relay, organized three days after the 50 km. race, with the Swedish book Olympiaboken noting, âFinland would win as a given.â In addition to the three skiers who placed second, third and fourth in the 18 km. race, they selected [Urho Korhonen] for the third leg instead of [Veikko Hakulinen], the newly crowned 50 km. champion. Norway used their quartet from the 18 km. race, and Sweden decided to put [Martin LundstrÃ¶m], the Olympic Champion at 18 km. in 1948, on their anchor leg.
[Heikki Hasu] took a commanding lead for Finland on the first leg, and at the exchange he was 1:18 ahead of Swedenâs [Nils TÃ¤pp], with Norwayâs [Magnar Estenstad] another disappointing 33 seconds behind. Estenstad was apparently not fully recovered after the 50 km. race. On the second leg, [Paavo Lonkila] increased Finlandâs lead to over 2Â½ minutes. Norwayâs [Mikal Kirkholt] was able to almost catch the Swede [Sigurd Andersson] and was only one second behind at the exchange. On the third leg, [Martin Stokken] had the fastest time and brought Norway into the silver medal position, but Finland and [Urpo Korhonen] still had a decisive lead. On the anchor leg [Tapio MÃ¤kelÃ¤] impressed with the fastest leg-time of the day, and Finland won with a decisive margin of almost three minutes. In the duel for silver between the two Olympic 18 km.-champions, [Hallgeir Brenden] and [Martin LundstrÃ¶m], Norwayâs Brenden was able to leave Sweden one minute behind at the finish, to the great satisfaction of the home crowd. The other 10 teams competing in the relay were far behind the Nordic medalists. France had the satisfaction to be the best non-Scandavian team and came in fourth, almost 11 minutes behind Finland.