Tag Archives: Biathlon World Championship 2020 Antholz

Antholz 2020: The Mass Starts!

Well the women’s mass start was definitely worth waiting for! What a race to end the World Championships on the women’s side.

It started well for a lot of biathletes with 16 going clear on the first prone. Those who didn’t included Marte Olsbu Roeiseland, Dorothea Wierer and Denise Herrmann!

It was Katherina Innerhofer who would lead out of the second prone with another perfect shoot along with Julia Simon. Monika Hojnisz- Starega was third with Wierer and Herrmann up to 4th and 5th after hitting 5/5. Roeiseland missed another target to fall to 22nd.

At the first stand it was Simon who shot the best getting all 5 targets down. Innerhofer missed 3 to put her out of contention, Wierer missed one but Hanna Oeberg hit all 5 to move into second place behind Simon. Behind them Roeiseland cleaned to move herself back up the field.

The final shoot was crucial as usual but not defining this time! The front three all missed! Wierer with one and Simon and Oeberg missing 2. That left Wierer out in front heading to the final lap. Roeiseland meantime cleaned again and found herself in second place 14 seconds behind Wierer.

Oeberg, Hojnisz-Starega and Simon all headed to the final lap together to fight for the bronze. Roeiseland put in a stunning final lap to catch and pass Wierer to take her 5th gold medal and 7th medal of the championships. Both were tired but Roeiseland just had a little extra in her legs. She made history by becomong the first woman to win seven medals at the same World Championship with her 5 gold and 2 bronze medals! Amazing!

Wierer took the silver and it was Oeberg who was the strongest of the others taking the bronze. It was redemption for Oeberg after finishing 4th several times and having a tough time in the women’s relay.

Hojnisz-Starega was 4th, Simon 5th and Ekaterina Yurlova-Percht 6th.

The men’s race was not as exciting as a finale but there was some great biathlon on show. It was a cat and mouse first loop with the French trio of Martin Fourcade, Emilien Jacquelin and Quentin Fillon Maillet taking the lead and trying to put pressure on Johannes Boe.

It didn’t work as all three missed a shot! It was Jakov Fak who left the range in the lead with Simon Desthieux and Benedikt Doll following. Boe hit all five and soon took over the lead on the tracks bringing his brother Tarjei and Johannes Dale with him.

All three Norwegians cleaned and behind them so did Jacquelin, Fillon Maillet and Desthieux. At the first standing shoot it was only Johannes and Desthieux who hit all 5. That left Boe with a nice lead followed by the fast skiing Fillon Maillet.

It was to be a perfect day for Johannes hitting all 5 again in the final shoot to cruise home for the gold medal! As the only man with 20/20 he was unbeatable. Fillon Maillet missed 1 but was comfortable in second. It was for bronze that we got the battle. Jacquelin cleaned his final shoot but Tarjei Boe took a penalty which meant he came off the loop just 7 seconds behind.

It was a tough final loop for Tarjei who caught and passed Jacquelin but he couldn’t hold on and was passed by the Frenchman before the finish line.

Desthieux finished 5th and Felix Leitner in 6th.

That concludes the World Championships in Antholz for 2020 and it has been a great event. Marte Olsbu Roeiseland was spectacular and Dorothea Wierer fulfilled her dreams here too. For the men Johannes Boe became the first man to win 6 medals at the same Worlds and Martin Fourcade now has gold in each discipline after France finally won the relay!

Follow biathlon23 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Antholz 2020: The Relays!

I don’t know about you biathlon fans but I am worn out after two amazing relays at the world championships and we were just watching!

The women were first to race and what a dramatic relay they produced! As biathlon law dictates it was Lisa Vittozzi who put Italy into the lead after the first leg. (Can you remember a time when she didn’t put them in first place?!!)

She only used 1 spare on the prone and handed over to Dorothea Wierer with a healthy margin of almost 30 seconds over the Polish team with Kinga Zyblut and the Russians with Ekaterina Yurlova-Percht.

Wierer would extend that lead to almost a minute. She just used one spare in the prone and her standing shoot was unbelievable! Rapid and accurate – I suggest you watch it for yourself!

At the second exchange she handed over to Federica Sanfilippo. Behind her came Monika Hojnisz-Starega then Irina Starykh. San filippo did well in the prone using just 2 spares but the stand let her down. In the end she incurred 2 penalty loops and Italy were out of the running. Kamila Zuk on the other hand was fantastic using just one spare to put Poland into the lead at the final exchange.

Tiril Eckhoff was trying to make up time for Norway after two solid legs from Synnoeve Solemdal and Ingrid Tandrevold had left them in 5th but over a minute back. She just avoided the penalty loop in the prone using 3 spares but couldn’t avoid it in the stand.

However she skied so strongly on the final loop that she handed over to Marte Olsbu Roeiseland in third place just behind the Czech Republic. Sweden and Germany were closing in with great legs from Linn Persson and Franziska Preuss bringing them back into contention.

Magdalena Gwizdon took over for Poland at the front and she used 2 spares in the prone. Roeiseland and Oeberg cleaned to take over the lead together. Herrmann used 2 spares.

At the final shoot it Roeiseland was spectacular. With the pressure of a gold medal in her hands she shot clean and left the range by herself for a simple ski to victory and a 4th gold medal for her. Hanna Oeberg was the opposite. Unfortunately she ended up on the penalty loop and lost the chance of a medal.

Moving into the medal spots were the Ukraine with Olena Pihrushna and the Czechs with Eva Kristejn Puskarcikova. Unluckily for them they were being chased by Denise Herrmann who needed 2 spares in the stand but skis so fast that she caught and passed both of them on the tracks to secure the silver medal for Germany. Ukraine hung on for the bronze.

The Czech Republic were 4th, Sweden 5th and Switzerland 6th. Poland were 7th in the end after a fabulous team performance and Italy were 10th at the finish.

Next up were the men and it was another close race. The first leg went to Erik Lesser shooting perfectly to give Germany an early lead. It wasn’t a big lead though with Emilien Jacquelin right behind him!

Norway had to take an early penalty loop with Vetle Christiansen having trouble in the standing shoot. That left Italy and Ukraine in 3rd and 4th.

Martin Fourcade took leg two for France up against Philipp Horn. Both cleaned in the prone and despite using 1 spare to Fourcade’s perfect shoot in the stand it was Horn who handed over first but there was very little between France and Germany.

On the third leg Arnd Peiffer and Simon Desthieux went head to head. Remarkably they shot exactly the same score both needing a spare in the stand. It was Peiffer who was stronger on the tracks giving Benedikt Doll a 12 second lead for the final leg. Tarjei Boe meanwhile was moving Norway back up into third.

At the first prone Doll needed all 3 spares to just avoid a penalty loop. Quentin Fillon Maillet hit 5/5 to move into the lead. The final stand decided it with just 2 spares for Fillon Maillet versus a penalty loop for Doll. Johannes Boe used 1 spare for his final standing and was just 5 seconds behind Doll.

On the last loop Boe overtook Doll to take the silver for Norway with Germany settling for bronze. France’s gold medal was the first in the men’s relay at World Championship for Martin Fourcade which completed his set of wins in each event.

Russia were 4th, Slovenia 5th and Austria 6th.

Follow biathlon23 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Antholz 2020: The Single Mixed Relay!

It wouldn’t have taken a rocket scientist to predict the winner of the single mixed relay! When Norway name Marte Olsbu Roeiseland and Johannes Thingnes Boe as their team you know they were after the win and another gold medal.

And that’s exactly what happened – the won and got the gold medal! However it wasn’t the procession that you may have expected, they had to work for this one.

With a tricky wind again in the range it was Hanna Oeberg and Franziska Preuss who took an early lead both hitting 5/5 in the first prone. Roeiseland needed 1 spare which put her behind. She caught up the front two by the stand though and cleaned to tag Norway in the lead. The Swiss were second with Lena Haecki, Sweden third and France fourth with Anais Bescond.

Boe skied away from the chasers but then quickly lost all his lead needing a spare on the prone. That meant Benjamin Weger and Erik Lesser could catch up and leave the range together with Boe. At the stand Boe used 2 spares while Weger and Lesser cleaned. That left the Swiss and Germans ahead with Norway playing catch up.

It didn’t take long for Roeiseland to make up for Boe’s errors and she was with Haecki and Oeberg after the prone shoot. They had been joined by golden girl Dorothea Wierer but not for long. In the stand she would take a penalty loop while Roeiseland, Preuss and Haecki cleaned. Oeberg needed two spares.

Lesser took over in the lead and in the prone both he and Boe cleaned but Weger needed two spares. This meant that clean shooting Sebastian Samuelsson moved into third.

Boe put the pressure on Lesser skiing hard and opening up a gap before the final shoot. He hit all five while Lesser used 1 spare. That was enough to give him a comfortable ski to take the victory. Behind them Samuelsson had to use two spares and that gave Emilien Jacquelin a chance. He hit all five and went on to secure the bronze medal for France behind Germany in silver and Norway in bronze.

Sweden were 4th, Switzerland 5th and Austria 6th.

Follow biathlon23 on Twitter, Facebook and Instgram!

Antholz 2020: Men’s Individual!

It was the Men’s Individual that greeted the fans in a grey, windy Antholz on Wednesday. The sun disappeared, maybe it just prefers the women’s races! 😉

There was one man for who the day was pretty sunny though and that was our winner Martin Fourcade. You may heave heard of him as it was his 4th gold medal in the Individual event more than any other man has won and his 11th World Championships medal equalling the total of Ole Einar Bjoendalen. Oh and he won the small crystal globe for the individual.

It was a good day at the office for Fourcade missing just one target – the very last one! It didn’t make a difference today though as his closest rival Johannes Thingnes Boe missed two. It was silver for the Norwegian who is yet to win an individual race at these championships but does have gold from the mixed relay.

The bronze medal went to Dominik Landertinger! You can always bank on Landi to pop up from nowhere at major championships and grab a medal! I don’t know how he does it! He hit 19/20 to make Austria the 8th country to get on on the medal table.

Fourth place went to Jakov Fak who also hit 19/20 in bib23! The biathlon gods are cruel! Benjamin Weger was 5th with 18/20 and Tarjei Boe was 6th despite 3 misses!

Special congratulations have to go to Leif Nordgren who was the only man to hit 20/20 in the windy conditions. It was also a personal best finish for him of 8th! It’s only taken him 11 years to break into the top 10!!! You see patience pays off kids – eventually!

Others to achieve their personal bests were Nikita Porshnev in 11th with 18/20, Jules Burnotte in 28th with 17/20, George Buta in 32nd with 18/20 and Andrzej Nedza-Kubiniec in 39th with 18/20.

Follow biathlon23 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Antholz 2020: Women’s Individual!

It was a little bit windy in Antholz today for the Women’s Individual which always makes it fun – especially with a minute penalty per miss!!!

In fact there was only one woman who hit 20/20 today and that was Galina Vishnevskaya however that was only good enough for 9th place.

In the end 18/20 was good enough for the win and that meant another gold medal for Dorothea Wierer! She is having a dream world championships picking up her third medal in four races. She had to work hard for this one too as she missed 1 shot on the first prone and one shot on the first stand! She cleaned her final 10 though and managed to take the victory but just 2.2 seconds!

The silver medal went to Vanessa Hinz who hit 19/20 and maybe thought that gold was hers for a second before Wierer’s final shoot. It is her first individual medal at a world championships.

The bronze medal went to Marte Olsbu Roeiseland who now has a medal from every race – two gold and two bronze. She also hit 18/20 but was almost 16 seconds behind Wierer at the end.

Hanna Oeberg also missed 2 to finish in 4th but that was good enough to win her the small crystal globe in the Indivdual as there are no more races this season in the event.

Franziska Preuss was 5th and Monika Hojnisz- Starega 6th both with 18/20.

Christina Rieder got her first top 10 finish and PB coming 7th with 19/20. Milena Todorova continues to impress with a new PB of 17th missing 2 shots. Nadia Moser improved her personal best to 33rd with 17/20 and Daniela Kadeva got her PB in 36th with 18/20. Lotte Lie moved her PB to 45th also with 18/20 and despite 5 misses Michela Carrara got hers in 49th.

Follow biathlon23 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Antholz 2020: The Pursuits!

We can always rely on the pursuits for a bit of action and we were not let down today at the world championships. It was a beautiful sunny day in Antholz as usual and not much wind in the range.

The women raced first and it was a win for home favourite Dorothea Wierer! It’s always good to see the home nation getting a gold medal and it’s extra special for Wierer as she is literally at home! It’s not just in her country it’s her home town!

It wasn’t easy for her starting 7th with 39 seconds to make up on Marte Olsbu Roeiseland at the start. At the first prone it was Roeiseland who made the first mistake and it was Susan Dunklee who took advantage hitting 5/5. Wierer also hit 5/5 and was already up to third place.

At the second prone it was Dunklee who missed but Roeiseland and Wierer both hit 5. By the third shoot these two were close together and both hit 5/5 again. Behind them Denise Herrmann was moving up the field despite a couple of misses.

It all came down to the final shoot and all of the top three had misses however Wierer just had 1 and Roeiseland 2. She left the range and headed out on her way to victory all alone for a celebratory final lap. Herrmann also missed 1 and came out with Roeiseland from the penalty loop. These two would race for silver and it was Herrmann who was too strong for Roeiseland who had to settle for bronze.

Hanna Oeberg finished 4th, Vanessa Hinz 5th and Ivona Fialkova was 6th getting her personal best in the process.

Further back in the field there were some big moves with Ingrid Tandrevold going from 57th to 14th, Tiril Eckhoff from 59th to 20th, Elisa Gasparin from 50th to 16th hitting 20/20, Irina Starykh from 53rd to 24th and Larisa Kuklina from 48th to 23rd.

The only other woman to hit the perfect 20 was Karoline Horchler taking bib 23 to 15th!

The men raced next and it was a very close finish at the end which saw Emilien Jacquelin take his first ever win and first world title!

The race began with Alexander Loginov in full control of things. He hit 15/15 and it looked like the race was his. Quentin Fillon Maillet missed 4 on the first prone and was completely out of the race straight away. Martin Fourcade was hanging in there in second place until he missed at the third shoot. Johannes Boe missed one on both prone shoots.

Meanwhile Jacquelin was hitting all his targets and after the third shoot had moved up to second place. Everthing hinged on the final shoot. Loginov missed one but Boe and Jacquelin cleaned and so it would be a ski race to the finish! It was Jacquelin who was stronger and after hitting 20/20 he fully deserved the win.

Loginov was third, Martin Fourcade 4th, Arnd Peiffer 5th and Tarjei Boe 6th.

Simon Eder was the only other man to hit 20/20 to move from 37th to 12th, Vetle Christiansen went from 33rd to 10th and Erlend Bjoentegaard from 35th to 15th. Jakov Fak moved from 45th to 21st and Ondrej Moravec from 46th to 22nd.

There is a rest day on Monday and then it’s the women’s individual on Tuesday!

Follow biathlon23 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Antholz 2020: Men’s Sprint!

Since when did sprint racing become so exciting? Normally it’s the pursuit or mass start that has you on the edge of your seat but we have just had two crazy sprints in a row at the world championships!

Today it was the men’s turn and Johannes Boe in bib 3 set out like a man on a mission! He had a massive lead right up until he missed in the prone of course! Behind him Quentin Fillon Maillet was also skiing super fast and then he missed in the prone too!

Martin Fourcade who started after both of them hit 10/10 but wasn’t skiing fast enough to match Fillon Maillet after he took the lead at the finish when both he and Johannes Boe cleaned in the standing.

Next came Tarjei Boe in bib23 and he also hit 10/10 but again couldn’t match the ski speed of the Frenchmen at the finish but he did get in front of his little brother to lie in third place.

However it was Alexander Loginov who would win the gold medal. He hit the perfect 10 and finished 6.5 seconds ahead of Fillon Maillet who kept silver and Martin Fourcade who got bronze.

It has caused a lot of controversy of course as Loginov has served a doping ban in the past and it was also revealed today that his fellow Russian Evgeny Ustyugov has been given a ban which covers the Sochi Olympics and will result in Russia being stripped of their men’s relay gold medal if upheld on appeal.

That being said the current rules are that Loginov is free to compete and if Fillon Maillet had hit all 10 targets he would have been the champion.

Tarjei Boe finished 4th, Johannes Boe 5th and Emilien Jacquelin 6th. There were personal bests for Martin Otcenas in 13th, Anton Smolski in 15th and Kosuke Ozaki in 49th.

The top 10 today were separated by under 1 minute so the pursuit should be fun tomorrow!

Follow at biathlon23 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Antholz 2020: Women’s Sprint!

Day two in Antholz was women’s sprint day! It was still beautiful and sunny but our old friend Mr. Wind came out to play too and made for a crazy race!

The first big casualty was Tiril Eckhoff! She missed 6 shots out of 10 and finished 59th losing the yellow bib and just scraping into Sunday’s pursuit!

It was then the home team’s turn to suffer with Dorothea Wierer and Lisa Vittozzi both missing two targets.

Handling the wind well was Aita Gasparin who was the first woman to hit the perfect 10.

It was Norway who would eventually take the gold however with Marte Olsbu Roeiseland rising to the occasion. She hit 9/10 and her ski speed took her to the gold medal. It is her first individual gold at the World Championships having won all her other golds as part of the relay team. It was also vindication of her decision to skip the World Cup round in Annecy to concentrate on these championships which she received a lot of criticism for from the Norwegian press!

Second place went to the USA! It was Susan Dunklee who took the silver medal with the perfect shoot. She gave everything she had in the last loop as she was leading out of the range but it wasn’t enough against Roeiseland. She almost fell coming into the home straight as she was trying so hard but that just shows you what a great competitor she is. It is her second world championships silver medal after she won silver in the mass start in 2017.

The fight for the bronze medal was great. Firstly Denise Herrmann went into third despite 3 misses. She is skiing so fast here it’s unbelievable! Then she was overtaken by Olena Pidhrushna who had one miss and then moments later Lucie Charvatova passes her to claim the bronze medal!

Pidhrushna was 4th, Herrmann 5th and Lisa Vittozzi 6th. Wierer’s 7th place put her back into the yellow bib.

There was a personal best for Milena Todorova in 27th fresh from her success at the Junior World Championships and also for Slovenian teammates Lea Einfalt in 29th and Nika Vindisar in 46th. There was also a PB for Fanqi Meng in 39th shooting 10/10. The only other 10/10 was from Vita Semerenko in 11th.

Follow biathlon23 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Antholz 2020: Mixed Relay!

What do you get if you cross the venue for the World Championships and biathlon23’s excitement levels? That’s right it’s AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAntholz! The World Championships are here and we started with the mixed relay! Of course it should have been on the schedule tomorrow for Valentine’s Day but as I am not yet IBU president I don’t make the timetable!

Anyway it was a great start to the champs with a good race right up until the final shoot just the way we like it. The women took the first two legs and after shoot one it was Austria who took the lead with Lisa Hauser shooting 5/5. She was followed by Susan Dunklee for the USA and Marte Olsbu Roeiseland for Norway.

However as we know it is the law that Lisa Vittozzi leads all relays out of shoot two and she did just that today hitting all five in the stand. She was chased hard by Anastasiya Merkushyna and Roeiseland. At the exchange it was Norway who handed over first just ahead of Italy.

Leg two saw Wierer take the lead after shoot 3 with Austria up to second with Katherina Innerhofer and the Czech Republic moved into third with Marketa Davidova. Behind them Tiril Eckhoff was pacing herself well and in the standing cleared all five to put Norway back into the lead. Wierer was next and Davidova third.

At shoot five Tarjei Boe, Lukas Hofer and Ondrej Moravec all hit 5/5 to leave the range in the same order. At the standing it was Hofer who shot the fastest and put Italy in the lead which the home crowd were very pleased about! Moravec cleaned too but Boe needed two spares.

By the exchange Tarjei had made up the ground and it was Johannes Boe who went out first with a small lead over Dominik Windisch and Michal Krcmar. All three shot perfectly in the prone and so it would go down to the final stand to find our winner.

Johannes struck first but missed two and then so did Windisch! They both hit 2/2 with their spares but Johannes was quicker and took the lead and the gold medal for Norway. Windisch brought Italy home for silver and Krcmar used 1 spare for bronze.

Germany were 4th, Ukraine 5th and Russia 6th. Behind the top three there was some bad shooting going on with penalty loops for a lot of teams like France, Germany, Switzerland and Ukraine among others. Maybe it was the altitude or the nerves but it wasn’t great! Hopefully it will improve for the women’s sprint tomorrow!

Follow biathlon23 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Nicole Gontier: The Interview!

Nicole Gontier is an Italian biathlete from the Aosta Valley. The 27-year-old made her World Cup debut in 2012 and achieved her personal best result in 2015 when she finished third in the Oberhof Sprint. She has 2 bronze medals from the World Championships in 2013 and 2015 as a member of the Women’s relay team. She has represented Italy twice at the Olympics in Sochi and PyeongChang.

Follow Nicole on Instagram

Why did you become a biathlete?

I started to do biathlon thanks to my father and my grandfather who were in charge of the Aosta valley biathlon and also thanks to the atmosphere and training of the coaches of Aosta valley biathlon.

How do you assess last season? What were you happy with? Was there anything that disappointed you?

Last season I was happy about my shape on skis, I had good feelings but I have to improve my shooting on the range.

The World Championships are in Antholz! How excited are you about that?

I’m really happy that the World Championships will be in Antholz. I really like there and I hope that it will be sunny and it will be perfect. The Italian ambience is the best.

The Italian women have a really strong team at the moment. What are your expectations for the World Championships in particular the women’s relay?

Yes the Italian women are really strong but for the moment I expect nothing. I prefer to concentrate on training and then I will see my shape with the first races!

What have you been doing for summer training?

In summer we train on the shooting range and with the roller ski,running,hiking and with the bike.

What are your goals for this season on the World Cup?

Like I said before I don’t have any goals. My goal is to improve myself and I work for this, then I will see in winter where I am.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

My strength is that my head is really hard to break so I continue to work hard also in the worst moments because I love what I do. My weakness is that I don’t really trust in me! I will have to trust more in my abilities.

What are your hobbies?

I like to read, to study, to knit and to stay with my dog! The best is to stay on the sofa with him watching the TV. I like to travel in Italy and to discover new little places and eat the special dish and drink the local wine.

Do you have a favourite biathlon track? Where is it and why?

I really like Antholz, it is a hard track but I had good feelings with it.

Who is your favourite biathlete (past or present) and why?

I really respect Martin Fourcade, he always has the situation under control and he does what he wants. I like so much Doro(Wierer) and Lisa (Vittozzi)! They are really strong.

Does your rifle have a name?

Ahah.. no for the moment no, we have a relationship of love and hate.

Describe yourself in three words.

Smiling,stubborn,sweet.

Quick fire Questions:
Favourite biathlon nation (not your own): French
Favourite rifle design (any biathlete): Lukas Hofer – last year’s rifle
Favourite ski suit design (from any nation): Italy’s suits of last year’s Championship
Lucky bib number: Mmm… I don’t have one.
Funniest biathlete on the World/IBU Cup: Sarah Beaudry
Nicest biathlete on the World/IBU Cup: Simon Fourcade (but he stopped).
Best thing about being a biathlete: We never get bored!

Follow biathlon 23 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!