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    Sunday, December 21, 1997

    Canada 17th in World Cup relay

     KONTIOLAHTI, Finland (CP) -- Russia and a surprising Czech team won the men's and women's relay gold medals respectively Sunday at a World Cup biathlon competition.
     In the men's 7.5-kilometre relay, the Russian foursome of Serguei Rojkov, Vladimir Dratchev, Serguei Tarasov and Pavel Rostovtsev clocked one hour 26:56.0 minutes along with a perfect shooting score for the victory.
     Belarus was second in 1:27:18.7 and Italy third in 1:28:23.8.
     The Canadian team of Eric Jensen of Regina, Steve Cyr of Val Belair, Que., Erick Gosselin of Quebec City and Jean Paquet of Loretteville, Que., was 17th in 1:33:22.9.
     It was 90 seconds short of the time to qualify for the Olympic relay.
     "This was our best combination so far in the relay," said Canadian head coach Nikolai Koterlitzov of Ottawa on the road with his team for the past 45 days. "We're getting closer. I just hope we don't run out of time."
     In the women's 7.5-kilometre relay, the Czech Republic with Katerina Losmanova, Jirina Pelcova, Irena Cesnakova and Eva Hakova clocked first in 1:42:09.2 with no shooting misses.
     France, last week's winner, was second in 1:42:19.2 and Germany third in 1:43:09.3 despite three misses.
     The Canadian women, which have already qualified a full four-member team for the Olympic Games, decided to train instead of race in Sunday's relay.
     "There was a lack of snow during our training camp in Canada," said Nikki Keddie of Toronto who was 32nd in Friday's 10 kilometre. "We're making up for it here."
     The World Cup season resumes Jan. 8 in Ruhpolding, Germany. That will be the last chance for the men's relay to qualify for the Olympics.

     KONTIOLAHTI, Finland (AP) -- Results Sunday from a World Cup biathlon event:

     Men
     4x7.5km relay
     1. Russia, (Sergei Roykov, Vladimir Dratchev, Sergei Tarasov, Pavel Rostovchev), 1 hour, 26 minutes, 56.0 seconds (0 penalty loops)
     2. Belarus, (Alexei Aidarov, Oleg Ryzhenkov, Vadim Sashurin, Alexander Popov), 22.7 seconds behind (0)
     3. Italy, (Patric Favre, Wilfried Pallhuber, Pier Alberto Carrara, Rene Cattarinussi), 1 minute 27.8 seconds behind (1)
     4. Austria, 1:36.2 (0)
     5. Germany, 1:52.3 (3)
     6. Finland, 2:14.5 (0)
     7. Poland, 2:51.3 (1)
     8. Slovenia 2:56.5 (0)
     9. Sweden, 3:54.0 (2)
     10. Norway, 4:08.0 (2).
     World Cup Relay Standings
     (After two of four events)
     1. Russia, 50 points
     2. Italy, 48
     3. Germany, 47,
     4. Norway, 46.
     
     Women
     4x7.5km relay
     1. Czech Republic, (Katerina Losmanova, Jirina Pelcova, Irena Cesnekova, Eva Hakova), 1:42:09.2 (0 penalty loops)
     2. France, (Florence Baverel, Anne Briand, Christelle Gros, Corinne Niogret), 10.0 seconds behind (0)
     3. Germany, (Uschi Disl, Simone Greiner, Katrin Apel, Martina Zeller), 1:00.1 behind (1)
     4. Russia, 1.12.1 (1)
     5. Poland, 1:46.2 (1)
     6. Japan, 3:32.3 (0)
     7. Belarus, 3:59.2 (2)
     8. Slovakia, 5:36.3 (3)
     9. Sweden, 6:37.7 (5)
     10. Slovenia, 7:21.1 (1).
     World Cup Relay Standings
     (After two of four events)
     1. France, 56 points
     2. Czech Republic, 51
     3. Germany, 50.
     
     Nations Cup Standings
     1. Russia, 3,800 points
     2. Germany, 3,643
     3. France, 3,044.