Oberhof 2017: The Pursuits!

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Well the wind made a return on Saturday for the Pursuit races and although it was more constant and less gusty it still played havoc on the shooting range.

The men’s race was first and Martin Fourcade was back to his best winning by over a minute. He showed remarkable composure on the shooting range and only missed 1 prone target. Considering many of the biathletes missed at least 4 targets it shows how good he really is. Behind Fourcade home favourite Arnd Peiffer managed to limit his misses to 3, all in the standing, to get a comfortable second place.

The race for third was the most exciting and came down to a ski race between Dominik Windisch, Emil Svendsen, Erik Lesser and Anton Babikov. It was Windisch who proved strongest in the end taking 3rd by 0.2 of a second from Svendsen in a sprint finish. However Svendsen’s tactics were questionable as he took the lead entering the finishing straight into a head wind giving Windisch the chance to overtake him on the line.

There were also a couple of fallers as Benedikt Doll hit the floor on the first lap ruining his hopes and Jean Guillaume Beatrix did the same when he was in 8th place after clearing all the prone targets and looking in good shape for a top result.

Normally I tell you who moved up the field and made up most places but today I will only mention one as he was head and shoulders above the rest. Artem Pryma from the Ukraine started 57th and with only 2 missed targets finished the race in 9th which is astonishing!

The women’s race was a closer affair as it usually is. They had snow and cold temperatures to contend with. This time Marie Dorin Habert held her nerve on the shooting range to make it a double victory for France. On the final shoot she missed just 1 target when her opponents missed 2 to win the race by nearly 40 seconds. Koukalova kept second place with 3 missed shots and Kaisa Makarainen came 3rd with 4 shots missed. We had the same three women on the podium from the Sprint but just in a different order!

Vanessa Hinz had a better day on the range coming from 34th to finish 6th, Galina Vishnevskaya did the same starting 38th and finishing 10th. In her second race back Domracheva made up 3 places to 34th missing 6 targets.

Tomorrow we have both Mass Start races where all the men will be chasing Fourcade and literally anyone could win the women’s race!

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