Tag Archives: Martin Jaeger

Season Review 20/21: MEN

This year’s battle for the crystal globe was like a viking war! It was the experienced warrior from Stryn against the young upstart from Geilo trying to overthrow him and steal his kingdom. Or in simpler, less dramatic terms it was Johannes Thingnes Boe versus Sturla Holm Laegreid!

It went down to the final shoot of the final race and at the end there was just 1 missed target between them. It was Johannes Boe who came out on top with third place in the Oestersund Mass Start securing his third big crystal globe in a row with 1052 points.

Laegreid was just 13 points behind in second place and Quentin Fillon Maillet was third with 930 points.

Laegreid took the individual globe after winning two of the three races and coming second in the other! The sprint globe went to Johannes Boe. The pursuit and mass start globes were secured in the final races with Laegreid topping the pursuit rankings and Tarjei Boe winning the mass start globe which was his first in ten years!

The IBU introduced the blue bib for the best biathlete under-25 and that honour obviously went to Sturla Laegreid after his stellar season. In second place was Johannes Dale with 843 points and Sebastian Samuelsson was third with 817.

Jakov Fak was the winner of the silver bib with 693 points. Created by Clare Egan and Susan Dunklee and knitted by Dunklee it is an unofficial award for the best athlete who is 33 or over.

We had five debut winners this season which is pretty rare in the men’s field. Sturla Laegreid burst onto the World Cup winning the very first race the individual in Kontiolahti. Sebastian Samuelsson got his first win in the Kontiolahti pursuit in magnificent style coming from 18th to win. Johannes Dale grabbed his maiden victory in the Hochfilzen sprint. Martin Ponsiluoma won the sprint in Pokljuka to make his first ever win a World Title! And finally Simon Desthieux won his first race in the Nove Mesto sprint after nine long years of trying!

The relay globe went to Norway. They won the first race of the season in Kontiolahti and later went on to win gold at the World Championships in Pokljuka. However the wins were shared around this season with Sweden winning in Hochfilzen, France in Oberhof and Antholz and Germany in Nove Mesto.

As in almost every season someone surprising wins the sprint World Title. In Pokljuka it was Martin Ponsiluoma. Emilien Jacquelin did the pursuit double winning the title again in spectacular fashion. Sturla Laegreid was outstanding to win the individual and mass start. It takes real talent to win in two such different disciplines in the same two weeks.

There were only three single mixed relays this season with France winning two. The were winners in Oberhof before taking the World Title in Pokljuka. Sweden won the other race with victory in Nove Mesto.

Norway repeated their World Cup domination in the IBU Cup too by winning the overall title and all the individual globes. The Total Score went to Filip Fjeld Andersen who also won the sprint rankings. The pursuit title went to Sivert Bakken and the individual to Endre Stroemsheim. Germany took the relay title to prevent Norway winning everything!

The Open European Championships in Poland saw the gold medals go to Andrejs Rastorgujevs in the individual, Martin Jaeger in the sprint and Artem Pryma in the pursuit.

The Juniors had one big competition the World Championships. Philipp Lipowitz was the champion in the individual while Emilien Claude won the sprint and pursuit double as well as helping France to relay gold.

Denis Irodov was the big winner at the Youth World Championships in Obertilliach. He won all three events; the individual, sprint and pursuit. Poland took relay gold.

Sadly we has some big name retirements this season with Simon Schempp, Arnd Peiffer and Ondrej Moravec all calling it a day. All three were excellent professionals and very successful biathletes and will be much missed by the biathlon family and the fans alike.

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Open European Championships 2021: Duszniki Zdroj!

Poland was the host of the Open European Championships this season and the programme featured individuals, sprints, pursuits and mixed relays.

It was the individual races that started us off on Wednesday and the first gold medal went to the home team! Monika Hojnisz-Starega took the win shooting 19/20. Close behind her taking the silver medal was Anastasiya Merkushyna who hit 20/20 and was just an agonising 3 seconds from winning! The bronze went to Larisa Kuklina who also hit 19/20.

In the men’s race it was another World Cup regular who triumphed. Andrejs Rastorgujevs won the gold medal with 19/20. He finished well over a minute ahead of the Norwegian duo of Erlend Bjoentegaard and Endre Stroemsheim who took silver and bronze respectively both shooting 18/20.

Friday was sprint day and saw another gold medal for Latvia. This time it was in the women’s race. With 9/10 on the range and some speedy skiing it was Baiba Bendika who was victorious. The silver medal went to Norwegian Karoline Erdal who hit 10/10 and the bronze went to Russia with 10/10 for Anastasia Shevchenko.

In the men’s race it was Switzerland who came out on top. Martin Jaeger hit all 10 targets to take home the gold medal. It was quite an improvement from the individual when he missed 5 and was 75th but that’s the beauty of biathlon. The silver medal was won by Said Khalili also with 10/10. Johannes Kuehn took bronze despite two misses on the range and it was good to see him doing well here after having a tough time on the World Cup this season up to now.

In Saturday’s pursuits only one person from the sprints managed to hang on for another medal and that was Karoline Erdal. It was an icy course that greeted the biathletes and Baiba Bendika fell foul of it with a fall which broke her pole and her rifle.

It was Kamila Zuk who made it another gold for the hosts with a fabulous performance hitting all twenty targets and moving from 18th to 1st! Erdal held on to her starting place to claim another silver medal and her teammate Aasne Skrede came from 7th to grab the bronze medal.

In the men’s race it was Artem Pryma who triumphed. After starting 6th he still won the gold medal by 6.6 seconds despite 3 misses! The silver medal went to Michal Krcmar who hit 19/20 moving up from 8th. Bronze went to Haavard Bogetveit who got himself onto the podium after finishing 4th in the sprint.

The final day was for the single mixed and the mixed relays. In the Single it was the German team of Stefanie Scherer amd Justus Strelow who made it onto the top step of the podium. Just five spares between them won the gold medal. Second place went to the French team of Caroline Colombo and Emilien Claude. Claude overtook the Russians on the final lap and meant Larisa Kuklina and Evgeniy Garanichev had to settle for the bronze.

The mixed relay saw Norway take the gold despite a penalty loop on the first leg from Emilie Kalkenberg. Her teammates made up for it with Aasne Skrede, Erlend Bjoentegaard and Sivert Bakken using only 3 spares! The silver went to the German team of Vanessa Voigt, Marion Deigentesch, Dominic Schmuck and Philipp Nawrath with 7 spares required. Ukraine took bronze with Iryna Petrenko, Vita Semerenko, Bogdan Tsymbal and Artem Pryma using 10 spares. Lithuania were also impressive in 4th place.

All of which left Latvia and the home nation Poland joint first in the medal table with 2 gold medals each and Norway in third.

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Antholz 2019: The Sprints!

Biathlon has returned to beautiful Antholz. It’s a favourite with many of the biathletes for the scenery, weather and food! It also provides some great racing for the fans and that was true again in the women’s sprint on Thursday.

It was won by unicorn power! That’s right Marketa Davidova with her unicorn covered rifle took her first ever win. She shot clean for the first time in her career and skied really well to keep the lead all the way to the final finisher. That final finisher was Laura Dahlmeier who also shot clean and gave Davidova a nervous wait to see if she could hold on.

Dahlmeier gave it everything in the last loop but it wasn’t enough. She struggled in the last 200 metres and collapsed at the line and had to be helped away by her coach. She finished 4th in the end just 4.2 seconds from the win and happily she is fine now. Kaisa Makarainen took second with one miss finishing just 1.7 seconds behind the Czech. Marte Olsbu Roeiseland was third 3.5 seconds back also with 9/10.

Lisa Vittozzi was 5th and Monika Hojnisz 6th. The top six were only separated by 10 seconds which means we are in for a great pursuit on Saturday.

Svetlana Mironova was 7th her personal best. Megan Bankes was fantastic in 26th for her PB, Caroline Colombo set yet another PB for her in 42nd as did Larisa Kuklina in 43rd and Yelizavta Belchenko in 44th.

The men raced on Friday and you won’t be surprised by the winner. Yes Mr. Johannes Boe won again. He has won 5/6 sprint races so far this season. What are the odds that he wins all the rest of them except the one he really wants at the World Championships? Funny things like that always happen in sport!

He missed a target today but his skiing is still way better than everyone else. It was a 1-2 for Norway with Erlend Bjoentegaard finishing second shooting 10/10. Antonin Guigonnat completed the podium with a lightning final loop after he missed 1 in the standing.

Martin Fourcade shot clean in 4th, Simon Eder missed 1 in 5th and Simon Desthieux was 6th despite 2 misses. Quentin Fillon Maillet was 7th meaning there were 4 Frenchmen in the Top 7 – shame there is no relay in Antholz!

Martin Jaeger got a personal best in 14th as did Roman Yeremin in 18th. American Jake Brown got his first World Cup point in 40th.

There is just over 30 seconds between the Top 6 for the pursuit tomorrow so hopefully it will be a good one.

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