It was the final day in Kontiolahti and it played host to the men’s relay and the women’s pursuit.
Norway came out on top in the men’s relay after quite a comfortable race for Sturla Laegreid, Vetle Christiansen and the Boe brothers.
Laegreid was solid in the first leg and Christansen put Norway into a small lead after the second. Tarjei extended that lead with a fine performance and gave his brother a nice cushion at the final exchange.
Johannes did try to make it interesting for us by missing in the prone and the stand and breaking a pole but he had time to correct all these errors (with 4 spares) and still win by 40 seconds.
Sweden took second place after a battle on the final leg between them, Germany and Russia. Sebastian Samuelsson gave his team the silver thanks to just 1 miss in the stand compared to Benedikt Doll’s two and three for Alexander Loginov.
The team of Samuelsson, Martin Ponsiluoma, Jesper Nelin and Peppe Femling used 10 spares compared to 9 for Germany. Their squad of Doll, Arnd Peiffer, Roman Rees and Erik Lesser stayed third ahead of Russia in 4th as well as Italy in 5th and Austria in 6th.
Special mention for Sean Doherty who had the US team in first after the second shoot hitting 10/10 but was overtaken on the tracks before he could make the exchange. It was a day to forget for Emilien Jacquelin who incurred 3 penalty loops on the first leg for France which put them out of contention early on.
After Sweden won both races yesterday it was Norway’s turn to do the double. Tiril Eckhoff surprised everyone (including herself probably!) but hitting 20/20 to win the women’s pursuit.
Starting from 8th she looked back to Eckhoff from last season with some great shooting. Considering how terrible she has been on the range in Kontiolahti and that she effectively lost the World Cup here last season it was something of a redemption for her today.
World Cup leader Hanna Oberg started the race well and looked in control after shoot one. However she missed a target on the second prone and opened the door to Marte Olsbu Roeiseland who shot 0+0 in prone.
They came to shoot three together and both missed one which meant Tiril caught them both leaving the range. It was all down to the final stand and with her rivals both missing 1 again it was a joyful last loop for Eckhoff to take the win.
Olsbu broke a way from a slightly tired looking Oberg on the uphills to make it a 1-2 for Norway with Oberg settling for third.
Dzinara Alimbekava took 4th shooting 18/20 with another personal best for her. She is having an amazing season so far for Belarus. Johanna Skottheim was the only woman apart from Eckhoff to hit all 20 targets moving her from 20th to 5th and Ingrid Tandrevold rounded of the top 6 also hitting 18/20.
Darya Blashko got her personal best in 12th coming from 18th with just one miss in the first prone shoot.
Justine Braisaz-Bouchet went from 37th to 10th, Evgeniya Pavlova from 44th to 13th, Lisa Hauser 43rd to 15th, Julia Simon 56th to 17th and Lena Haecki from 52nd to 19th.
Now it’s time to head down to Austria for two more World Cup stages in Hochfilzen with Johannes Boe and Hanna Oberg packing the yellow bibs in their suitcases!
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