Tag Archives: Matvey Eliseev

Antholz 2021: Mass Start/Relay!

WOW! We were treated to two thrilling races in Antholz today both of which went down to the final few metres! It was almost as good as getting two scoops of gelato for free!

The first race was the women’s mass start. It was a close race on the prone stages with Dorothea Wierer taking the lead after the first shoot followed by Hanna Oberg and Lisa Hauser. Julia Simon, last week’s winner was 28th after one miss. After the second prone it was Oberg and teammate Linn Persson who were out first but with another 9 women shooting clean nothing was decided yet.

The third shoot was where the field started to thin out. It was Svetlana Mironova who took the lead over Franziska Preuss and fellow Russian Evgeniya Pavlova all of whom were now 15/15 on the range.

However at the last shoot it all fell apart for the Russians. Mironova missed two as did Pavlova and Preuss missed one. Behind them Hanna Oberg shot clean, as did Lisa Hauser and they were now 1 and 2 leaving the range. Preuss slotted into third after her penalty loop but right after her was Julia Simon! After missing one shot on each of the first three shoots she cleaned number four and was in sight of the lead.

She caught and passed all three of the women ahead of her but Hanna Oberg was strong enough to hang on to her. It would be a race between these two for the win. It was Simon who took it in the end but just by a whisker! Oberg tried her best to pass Simon before the line but the Frenchwoman took her second mass start victory in a row by just 0.2 of a second.

Hauser stayed in third adding to her stunning results since the Christmas break. Preuss was 4th, Marketa Davidova 5th and Mironova 6th. Roeiseland and Eckhoff were 7th and 8th missing 3 and 4 shots respectively. Karoline Knotten was the only woman in the field to hit 20/20.

Later we had the men’s relay which saw more close racing. It was Norway who took the early lead after leg one with Sturla Laegried exchanging first in front of Erik Lesser and Anton Babikov. Last week’s winners France were just 9 seconds back after a solid leg from Antonin Guigonnat.

An impressive leg from Matvey Eliseev put Russia into the lead after leg two. He was ahead of Italy with Tommaso Giacomel and Germany with Roman Rees. Norway were on the penalty loop with Johannes Dale repeating his mistake from last week. France were still going along nicely just 15 seconds behind the leaders despite Quentin Fillon Maillet needing 4 spares.

Alexander Loginov took over for Russia on leg three. He cleaned the prone but had a nightmare on the standing and was on the penalty loop. This let France into the lead with Simon Destheiux using just 1 spare. He was just ahead of Germany’s Arnd Peiffer and Norway were back in the race in fourth after a strong leg from Tarjei Boe.

Emilien Jacquelin found himself in front alongside Benedikt Doll with Eduard Latypov a few seconds back. However the pace wasn’t high at the front and Johannes Thingnes Boe caught them all by the first prone which he cleaned and headed off in the lead.

He arrived at the final shoot with a small gap and went for a quick first shot. He got 4 out of 5 and needed to use a spare. Jacquelin meanwhile hit 5/5 and left the range only a few seconds behind Boe. Latypov needed all 3 of his spares and Doll 2 of his so we had a race for first and third!

Boe tried to break Jacquelin on the uphills but couldn’t shake him off. In the final few hundred metres Jacquelin took the lead and there was nothing Boe could do to stop France winning their second relay in a row. It was very similar to the World Championship pursuit finish on the same course here last year.

Russia took third with Latypov skiing away from a tired looking Doll in the final couple of hundred metres.

Italy were 5th, Austria 6th and there was a great result for the Finnish team in 7th.

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Oberhof #2 2021: Mass Starts!

Exciting and brutal are the best two words to describe the mass starts today. It was really exciting for the fans to watch but brutal for the biathletes with five ascents of the Birxsteig!

There were a few who won’t complain about that though especially Tarjei Boe who took his second win of the season. He won the same race 10 years ago and he certainly rolled back the years today.

It was a very tight race and Tarjei won it the hard way punishing himself on the tracks. The first two prone shoots saw a lot of men go clear. After the first it was Lukas Hofer in the lead followed by Sturla Laegried and Johannes Dale.

After the second it was Emilien Jacquelin from Benjamin Weger and Erik Lesser. However a fall for Jacquelin ruined his race and broke his rifle. He used the spare for his standing targets but couldn’t come back to fight at the front.

Meanwhile Tarjei was trying to break away from the pack by pushing on at the front. He managed to get some distance but fast shooting from Erik Lesser put him in the lead after the first standing followed by Boe and Weger.

Again Tarjei made a break with some strong skiing but in the final standing he missed a shot and was on the penalty loop. Behind him shooting clean were Weger, Felix Leitner and Simon Eder.

Again Boe came back strong and passed all three on the tracks in a fantastic display of strength. It was Leitner shooting 20/20 who managed to grab second place for his first podium and Weger (also 20/20) was third with his first podium in 8 years!

Lukas Hofer just pipped Eder, who had hit 20/20, on the line to snatch 4th and Matvey Eliseev was 6th. Johannes Boe missed 4 shots and was never in contention to win but he still finished 7th!

The women’s race was equally as exciting. Like the men’s race there were a lot of women shooting clean in prone. After shoot one it was Dorothea Wierer who was in the lead but another 12 women also hit all 5 so there was no clear leader.

After the second prone it was Wierer who left the range in first again followed by Karoline Knotten and Hanna Oberg.

However it was the first standing that gave Wierer the break she was looking for. She hit all 5 while nearly all her closest rivlas missed 1 or 2 or in Tiril Eckhoff’s case 3.

It looked like the win was going to Wierer as she was alone on the range for her final shoot. 5 hits would mean an easy victory, 4 would make a race of it and 3 would throw it away. She hit just 3!

Capitalising on Wierer’s mistakes were Julia Simon who after missing 2 on the first stand rattled down all five to move from 11th to 1st place. Right behing her was Franziska Preuss and they would fight on the tracks for the win.

Behind those two came Lisa Hauser, Hanna Oberg, Ingrid Tandrevold and Mona Brorsson to battle for the last podium spot.

Preuss overtook Simon early and looked like she had the better of the Frenchwoman. However on the final climb Simon found some energy from somewhere to retake the lead which she held to the line for her second World Cup race win. She was exhausted at the end as was Preuss in second.

Unfortunately for Hauser she fell on the fast downhill bend and could not fight for the podium. Third place eventually went to Hanna Oberg who was too strong for Tandrevold in 4th and Brorsson in 5th. Wierer came home in 6th.

Exactly like Johannes Boe , Marte Olsbu Roeiseland missed 4 targets and finished 7th but both hold on to their yellow bibs as we pack up and head to Antholz for the next round of the World Cup.

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Oberhof #2 2021: Men’s Sprint!

It’s the second week in Oberhof and the second men’s sprint and the same winner!

Johannes Thingnes Boe was perfect in the range today and when he hits 10/10 he is almost impossible to beat.

There was a bit more wind on the range today but not enough to trouble the top finishers with the four fastest over the line all hitting 10.

Sturla Laegreid posted the quickest time early on and was the target for all the others to beat. It was only Johannes who could overtake him however winning by 12.4 seconds but it was yet another stellar performance from his young teammate in second place.

Third went to the home team with Arnd Peiffer who just pipped teammate Erik Lesser by 3 seconds for the final podium spot.

Johannes Dale continued his amazing season in 5th with 9/10 and Lukas Hofer was 6th despite missing 2.

There were another 9 men who hit 10/10 today with Matvey Eliseev (10th), Jakov Fak (17th), Sebastian Samuelsson (18th), Felix Leitner (19th), Erlend Bjoentegaard (20th), Peppe Femling (23rd), Tuomas Harjula (45th) and Mikita Labastau (55th) all perfect on the range. Michal Sima also hit all 10 on his way to a personal best of 25th.

Pavel Magazeev posted another PB in 33rd as did Mihail Usov in 51st. There was a World Cup debut for Czech youngster Mikulas Karlik who finished 99th.

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KONTIOLAHTI 2020 #2: The Sprints!

It is now the official first round of the World Cup in Kontiolahti and of course Boe won the men’s sprint! But it wasn’t Johannes this time it was Tarjei!

Taking his first win in 3 years the older Boe shot clean and skied fast to ensure no one else could catch him. It was the also the first time he has finished ahead of little brother when they have both been on the podium. That’s right he may not have won this time but Johannes still did enough to finish third. A missed shot in the prone cost him the victory but I’m sure he was happy to see his brother win if he couldn’t.

Separating the brothers on the podium was Arnd Peiffer. He shot 10 but couldn’t ski fast enough to challenge Tarjei. Did I mention the winner was wearing bib23 – explains a lot I think!

Benjamin Weger was 4th, Erlend Bjoentegaard 5th and Jakov Fak was 6th all shooting 10/10.

Getting a well deserved personal best in 13th was Sergey Bocharnikov with 10 hits. Also shooting the perfect ten were Michal Krcmar (10th), Felix Leitner (17th), Antonin Guigonnat (21st), Christian Gow (25th), Matvey Eliseev (33rd), Linas Banys (66th) and Pavel Magazeev (68th a PB).

The women had some difficult conditions in their race with heavy snowfall and wind. It didn’t stop Hanna Oberg from winning her second sprint in a row having never won one before last week. She was confident on the range hitting all ten targets and is skiing super fast too.

Second place went to Anais Chevalier-Bouchet. She missed last season after having a baby girl but has come back all guns blazing so to speak! She also hit all the targets and finished 10 seconds from the win.

Elvira Oberg was third despite 1 miss in the stand. It was her personal best result and her first time on the podium. Getting to share it with her big sister must have been nice for them both.

Following the Boe brothers result from earlier in the day it was a victory for the older siblings over those young upstarts!

Marte Olsbu Roeiseland was 4th, Denise Herrmann 5th and Marketa Davidova 6th. All three hit 9/10.

Irina Kazakevich continued her good run of improvement with another personal best of 13th. Irene Lardschneider also got a PB in 46th and made the pursuit for the first time.

Considering the conditions these ladies did well to hit the perfect ten – Valentina Semerenko (9th), Julia Schwaiger (12th), Dunja Zdouc (17th), Darya Blashko (18th), Karoline Knotten (22nd), Tamara Voronina (27th), Christina Rieder (60th) and Annija Sabule (69th a PB).

Can’t wait for the first pursuits of the season! The men race on Saturday and the women on Sunday.

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Season Review 2019/20: The Men!

Since when did the men’s overall title go down to the last race and be decided by 2 points! Never! (Well maybe it has but I am too lazy to actually check!) Normally it’s the women who take the total score right down to the wire but this season thanks to baby Boe it was the men who gave us the closest of finishes!

Little did we know back in December that this would be Martin Fourcade’s final season. Well maybe he didn’t either but guess what I haven’t checked! 😉 That made the battle between the Frenchman and Johannes Thingnes Boe even more special as it would be the last.

It looked like it would be another convincing win for Boe in the overall at the start of the season. Honours were even in Oestersund with Boe taking the sprint and Fourcade winning the individual but then Boe won 4 of the 5 next races with Fourcade not making the podium in any.

However after Christmas Boe took parental leave for the birth of his son Gustav (biathlon overall title winner 2043) and then Fourcade came alive. Without Boe racing he won all 4 events in Germany! The psychological effect on Fouracde was marked as with no Johannes he became the best again and showed it.

In Pokljuka Boe returned and won the individual beating Fourcade into second place and taking the mental advantage back.

After a win each at World Champs it was on to Nove Mesto where Boe won both races to close the gap in the total score. Then came Kontiolahti and the news that it would be final round of the World Cup and the final two races would determine the champion.

Boe won the sprint ahead of Fourcade which meant it would all come down to the pursuit. If Fourcade could win then Boe had to finish at least 4th to take the title. That’s exactly what happened. Boe was nervous and it showed in his shooting. Basically if he had missed just one shot in the final standing Fourcade would have been an 8-time world cup winner but somehow he hit all five and made it home in 4th place to take the big crystal globe by just 2 points! It was un-boe-lieveable! That makes it two in a row for the super talented Norwegian.

I am sure Fourcade would have loved to go out on the ultimate high of winning the overall but it was not to be! He did win the race which was a fitting end to a truly outstanding career. He won his first race in the Kontiolathi pursuit and his last both on the 14th of March!

He will be sorely missed on the World Cup next year but he has handed the French baton over to Emilien Jaquelin! It was a remarkable season for the 24-year-old. He won his first ever race which just happened to be at the World Championships in Antholz! He took gold in the pursuit and then went on to win gold in the men’s relay, bronze in the single mixed and bronze again in the mass start! He would also go on to collect the pursuit crystal globe after topping the standings in that event and finished 5th in the total score.

Martin Fourcade took home two small globes this season winning the sprint title and the individual. Johannes Boe was the winner of the mass start title.

Apart from Jacquelin there were no other first time winners on the men’s world cup but we had a couple of first time podiums. Matvey Eliseev was third in the Oestersund sprint and Fabien Claude was third in the Pokljuka individual. Maybe without Fourcade there will be more space on the podium steps for some new faces next season.

New faces like rookie of the season Nikita Porshnev. In Annecy he got his first top 20 finish coming 18th in the mass start and at World Championships he was 21st in the sprint but then set an new personal best in the individual of 11th.

Speaking of World Championships the men decided to share out the medals this year. Each race was won by a different biathlete which is unusual on the men’s side. Alexander Loginov won the sprint, Jacquelin took the pursuit, Fourcade the individual and Johannes Boe the mass start!


The men’s relay was a big fight between Norway and France all season long! Norway dominated the early exchanges winning the first three races of the season. France took the win in the fourth race in Ruhpolding and more importantly won at World Champs. It was their first relay win in 19 years and completed Fourcade’s collection of medals! Norway won the final race in Nove Mesto and they won the men’s relay world cup title.

The mixed relay was a bit more competitive across the teams with Italy winning the opening race in Oestersund, France on top in Pokljuka and Norway taking gold in Antholz.


Sadly this season there were more retirements than just Martin Fourcade. Michal Slesingr decided to end his career at his home World Cup in Nove Mesto. It was such a shame that there was no crowd there to send him off but he will be remembered as trail blazer for Czech biathlon of course as a fantastic biathlete. Also hanging up his rifle is Mario Dolder. His best finish came in 2017 when he was 6th in the Oestersund sprint and he was a great servant to the Swiss team. As a biathlon23 interviewee he will obviously be missed more than the other two! 😉

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Open Euro Champs: Minsk 2020!

Don’t worry you haven’t woken up back in 2019! The Open European Championships were meant to be in Otepaa, Estonia but due to lack of snow there they were switched to Minsk which held them last year too. Coincidentally Minsk doesn’t have any snow either but they do have a magic bag of snow that they can sprinkle out to resemble a track!

The first day was for the Super Sprint. If you don’t follow the IBU Cup you may not be familiar with this newer format. Basically there are two races – a shortened sprint race (3km) which all the biathletes start and then a shortened mass start (5km) with the top 30 finishers from the sprint. In both the qualification and the final you can use one spare round per shoot and the penalty loop is 75 metres.

Topping the men’s qualifying sprint was Anton Smolski and the final qualifier was Vasilii Tomshin in 30th place. In the final it was Sergey Bocharnikov who took gold at home in an exciting finish. It was a sprint for the line between 3 biathletes with Adam Vaclavik taking silver and Dmytro Pidruchnyi taking bronze. The top two both hit 20/20 but Pirdruchnyi had one miss.

In the women’s qualification it was Dzinara Alimbekava who was fastest and Natalja Kocergina who got the last spot in 30th. In the final it was Evgeniya Pavlova who took the win and the gold medal ahead of Olena Pidhrushna in second and Chloe Chevalier in third. All three women hit 20/20.

Thursday was relay day and we had the Single Mixed followed by the Mixed. The Single Mixed gold medal went to Norway with the team of Karoline Erdal and Endre Stroemsheim. They used 12 spares but were fast on the skis. The silver medal went to Germany with Stefanie Scherer and Justus Strelow who used just 5 spares. Bronze went to Ukraine’s Anastasiya Merkushyna and Ruslan Tkalenko with 7 spares required.

The Mixed Relay saw the very experienced Ukraine team take gold. Valj Semerenko, Yuliia Dzhima, Artem Pryma and Dmytro Pidruchnyi used 9 spares to take the win. Silver went to Russia with a team of Kristina Reztsova, Victoria Slivko, Eduard Latypov and Said Khalili also with 9 spares used. Norway eventually took bronze after a protest from Belarus saw them disqualified and reinstated on appeal! The team of Aasne Skrede, Ida Lien, Sivert Bakken and Aleksander Andersen used just 4 spares.

Friday was a day off for Minsk sightseeing! Saturday was Sprint day and it was Matvey Eliseev who struck gold for Russia. He hit 9/10 to take the win by just 4 seconds ahead of Andrejs Rastorgujevs who also hit 9/10 to take the silver medal. Bronze went to Aleksander Andersen who also missed one target.

In the women’s sprint it was Elisabeth Hoegberg who took the win with 9/10 to claim gold for Sweden. She finished 14 seconds ahead of the clean shooting Ida Lien. Home favourite Iryna Kryuko won bronze with 9/10.

The final medals were decided on Sunday in the two pursuit races. The Championships finished off how they started with gold for Belarus but this time it was double!

In the men’s pursuit Sergey Bocharnikov came from 5th to claim his second gold after winning the Super Sprint. He hit 18/20 to finish ahead of the Norwegian pair of Sturla Laegreid and Sivert Bakken. Laegreid came from 12th also hitting 18/20 for silver and Bakken came from 20th to take bronze with 18/20 too!

In the women’s pursuit it was Elena Kruchinkina who took gold for the home nation. She hit the perfect 20/20 to move from 11th all the way to first. Kristina Reztsova was second with 18/20 to take silver and Elisabeth Hoegberg stayed on the podium dropping to third and a bronze medal with 17/20.

The action now moves to erm… Minsk for the last IBU Cup of the year on the 4th of March! Not too far to travel for that one! 😉

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Pokljuka 2020: The Mass Starts!

The last day in Pokljuka was for the mass starts and they were worth waiting for! The men got us underway and it was a tight race all the way through.

At the first shoot all the favourites hit 5/5 except Johannes Boe! It didn’t stop him though as he had almost caught the leaders before the second prone.

Again all the top runners went clear including Boe with Quentin Fillon Maillet, Martin Fourcade, Vetle Christiansen and Johannes Dale all up front. Missing 1 and dropping back a little were Benedikt Doll, Tarjei Boe and Erlend Bjoentegaard.

At the third shoot it was Quentin Fillon Maillet and Martin Fourcade who both missed a shot which left Boe and Christiansen out front themselves.

However their lead was not too big and the Frenchmen were catching before the final shoot. The two Norwegians missed this time and the two Frenchmen cleaned but Fillon Maillet was faster and left the range with a clear lead. Behind him Benedikt Doll hit 5/5 and was in second but chased hard by Boe, Christiansen and Fourcade.

It was a fantastic final lap with Doll pushing hard all the way. It was cat and mouse behind him with the other three but it would come down to a four way sprint for the podium spots.

In the end Doll held them all off to finish second. Third went to Johannes Boe and Vetle Christiansen nipped in ahead of Fourcade to snatch 5th. There was only 0.8 of a second between the four guys!

It was Fillon Maillet’s second mass start victory after he won the same race in round six last season although it was in Antholz. He thoroughly deserves his first win of the season.

There were two men who shot the perfect 20/20 and they were Simon Eder in 8th and Matvey Eliseev in 11th.

The women raced later and with Tiril Eckhoff already tucked up in bed back in Norway after she got sick the race was wide open.

Denise Herrmann started fast but it didn’t pay off after she missed 1 on the first prone. That left Hanna Oeberg and Justine Braisaz at the head of an 11 stong group of clean shooters.

At the second prone Oeberg hit all 5 again as did Marte Roeiseland and they opened a small gap over Lisa Vittozzi and Kaisa Makarainen.

Oeberg and Roeiseland skied together and shot together and also missed together! Makarainen missed two but Lisa Vittozzi hit all five to take the lead.

The final shoot was decisive with Oeberg shooting fast and accurately to leave the range ahead of Vittozzi who hit all 5 again to make it 20/20. Behind them Anais Bescond emerged out of the chasers hitting 20/20 to move into third.

That was the way it would finish with Oeberg skiing so well that she couldn’t be caught. It was her first win this season and Vittozzi’s first podium of the season. Bescond made it three races in a row on the podium here in Pokljuka.

Monika Hojnisz-Starega was 4th hitting 19/20, Justine Braisaz missed 3 in 5th as did Marte Roeiseland in 6th.

Now we have a short break before the first race of the World Champinships begins in Antholz on the 13th of February but don’t forget the Youth/Junior World Champs is on now and the IBU Cup continues too.

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Oberhof 2020: The Sprints!

It was a beautiful sunny day that greeted the biathletes for the first race of the season! Of course it wasn’t!!! It’s Oberhof! It was foggy and damp! Just the way it’s supposed to be!

The women started off 2020 with the sprint and the Norwegians continued their domination of the World Cup so far. However this time it was Marte Olsbu Roeiseland who won. She shot the perfect 10/10 in difficult conditions on the range and skied very well to win by 33 seconds.

Denise Herrmann finally gave the German women’s team something to cheer about and pleased the home crowd by finishing second. She missed one shot in the stand. Third place went to Julia Simon who missed one in the prone but skied well to finish on the podium ahead of Dorothea Wierer who also missed 1.

Tiril Eckhoff was 5th with 2 misses and Paulina Fialkova was 6th with 1 miss.

Canada’s Emma Lunder got a new personal best in 7th shooting clean.

There were also a number of debuts with her teammate Emily Dickson who was 46th, Austria’s Tamara Steiner 71st, Italy’s Michaela Carrara 76th, Czech Tereza Vobornkova 84th and American Hallie Grossman 80th.

The men’s sprint on Friday had less fog but heavy rain overnight destroyed the tracks and left just the 2.5km loop available for the race. That meant the men had to ski 2.5 km, shoot prone, ski 5km and then shoot stand and then ski the final 2.5km. The man who coped best with this was Martin Fourcade. He hit 10/10 and skied well to take his second win of the season. With Johannes Boe at home awaiting the birth of his first child they were valuable points for the Frenchman.

Second place also went to France with Emilien Jacquelin getting his third podium of the season. He missed 1 shot but if he had hit 10 he would have been very close to the win. Third place went to Johannes Kuehn who also missed 1 target.

Matvey Eliseev was 4th with perfect shooting, Alexander Loginov was 5th and Simon Desthieux 6th both missing 1.

There were personal bests for Raman Yaliotnau in 14th and Vytautas Strolia in 20th. There were also a couple of crashes for Simon Bartko and Kalev Ermits but both were unhurt.

Tarjei Boe managed to forget his penalty loop and had to ski back up the hill to take it! OOPS!

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Oestersund 2019: The Relays!

Bjorn Borg and Stefan Edberg would have been very happy with today’s rallies…..what I am talking about!!! It was the relays and they won’t be happy at all since they were both won by their neighbours and great rivals Norway!

The women raced first and it was Italy as usual who handed over first at the exchange. Lisa Vittozzi is a first leg legend! She did use 3 spares today unusually for her but she still skied herself into the lead!

She gave Nicole Gontier a five second lead over the Ukraine, the USA and home team Sweden after 10/10 shoots from Anastasiya Merkushyna and Linn Persson and just the 1 spare from Susan Dunklee. Germany with Vanessa Hinz went on the penalty loop but Norway were not too far off with a solid leg from Synnoeve Solemdal with 2 spares used.

Gontier had a great leg hitting all 10 targets as did Clare Egan for the USA leaving them neck and neck at the exchange. They were followed by Vita Semerenko, Mona Brorsson and Ingrid Tandrevold who hit 10/10 for Norway.

The third leg saw Joanne Reid hold the lead for the USA after the prone ahead of Alexia Runggaldier, Anna Magnusson, Yuliia Dzhima and Tiril Eckhoff.

Magnusson cleaned the stand to put Sweden in the lead, Reid needed 1 spare, Dzhima 2 and Eckhoff and Runggaldier went on the penalty loop!

That gave Hanna Oberg a 17 second lead at the final exchange. She was followed out by Emily Dreissigacker, Valj Semerenko and Marte Olsbu Roeiseland. Oberg needed 2 spares in the prone, the USA were clean and Ukraine and Norway took 1 spare each.

Roeiseland and Semerenko passed Dreissigacker on the tracks to move into second and third place for the final crucial shoot. Oberg was first in but needed all her spares. Roeiseland threw caution to the wind and went for it hitting all 5 and skiing to the gold medal for Norway. Sweden took silver and Semerenko needed 1 spare to safely claim the bronze medal. Unfortunately Dreissigacker went on the penalty loop twice and eventually finished in 9th but it was an amazing race from the US ladies.

Germany were 4th, Russia 5th and Slovakia 6th.

The day was tinged with sadness however as it was Rosanna Crawford’s final race for Canada who finished 14th. She will be greatly missed on the World Cup. 😦

The men raced later and victory again went to Norway who have won gold in every single relay at the World Championships!

The first leg was very close between a lot of the teams with some good shooting on the range. It was Matvey Eliseev who handed over first though for Russia with Lukas Hofer and Antonin Guigonnat close behind. The top ten teams were all within around 10 seconds of each other with Erik Lesser and Lars Birkeland keeping Germany and Norway in the mix.

The gaps stared to appear after leg 2 with France taking the lead thanks to Quentin Fillon Maillet. However he was followed closely by Vetle Christiansen in second and Jesper Nelin in third. Roman Rees for Germany (3 spares) and newcomer Nikita Porshnev for Russia (2 spares) both had solid legs.

On the third leg Tarjei Boe did really well using just 2 spares in the stand to give his brother a 43 second lead for the last lap. Simon Desthieux went on the penalty loop but still managed to tag Martin Fourcade in second place. He left at the same time as Bendikt Doll after a great leg from Arnd Peiffer moved Germany into third. Martin Ponsiluoma used 2 spares to put Sweden in fourth. Dmitry Malyshko kept Russia in the hunt also with 3 spares.

Johannes Boe shot clean on the prone to extend his lead. Fourcade cleaned and Doll needed 1 spare but they were still locked together in the podium positions. Samuelsson used 3 spares and was passed by Rok Trsan who put Slovenia into 4th!

Boe used all 3 spares in the stand but it was enough to seal victory and yet another gold for Norway. Doll used 1 spare but Fourcade ended up with 2 penalty loops. That left Germany in a comfortable silver medal position. Bronze was still up for grabs and with a perfect leg from Alexander Loginov it went to Russia.

The Czech Republic moved up to 4th, Slovenia were 5th and France 6th.

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Oestersund 2019: The Pursuits!

“The winner takes it all
The loser’s standing small”

A perfect summary of today’s women’s pursuit by ABBA. It was absolute joy for one and utter heartbreak for another!

We started off in nice conditions then the wind got up and a snow storm blew in. It was Anastasiya Kuzmina who went off first after her sprint win but her lead only lasted until the first shoot when she missed 2 in the prone.

That left Denise Herrmann and Mona Brorsson out ahead with Laura Dahlmeier and Tiril Eckhoff just behind after all four hit 5/5.

It was a similar story after the second prone with all four hitting 5/5 again. Denise Herrmann pulled put a lead on the tracks from Brorsson in second and arrived in the range first for the standing shoot. Herrmann missed 2 and Brorsson cleaned to leave her out in the lead by over half a minute. Behind them Dahlmeier missed 1 and Eckhoff missed 2.

At the final stand it was not to be for home favourite Brorsson. She missed her first shot and couldn’t recover eventually missing 4 targets in all. It was horrible to watch her fall apart at her home World Championships but it is the first time she has been in this position and there was a lot of pressure on her. I think leading the penultimate loop by herself gave her too much thinking time about the consequences of the last shoot and it got to her.

She is such a nice person and deserved better but hopefully this experience will help her in the future to win races and get podiums. Fingers crossed it is in the next two races!

Back on the range Denise Herrmann was cleaning her five targets and heading off for her first ever World Championship gold medal after just three seasons in biathlon. Quite an amazing feat.

There was a big battle on the tracks for silver and bronze with Dahlmeier and Eckhoff also hitting all 5 on the final shoot. The German was just ahead but Eckhoff was strong on the skis and caught up to her heading to the finish line. Eckhoff was clever and took a tight line into the home straight to make sure Dahlmeier couldn’t get ahead and she took the silver medal for Norway. Dahlmeier got her second bronze in a row.

Marte Olsbu Roeiseland was 4th coming from 25th even with 4 misses! Hanna Oberg was 5th and Kuzmina 6th.

Anna Magnusson went from 43rd to 11th and Lena Haecki from 53rd to 14th.

The men’s pursuit showed exactly why we love biathlon. The main man who has been winning all season and had a big lead coming into the final shoot looked unbeatable, and then he was beaten! And he was beaten by someone who has never won a race before, in fact he has never made the podium before today!

Johannes Thingnes Boe almost had the gold medal around his neck for most of this pursuit. He cleaned the first prone and set about building on his lead. Martin Fourcade also cleaned and was joined by Alexander Loginov despite his 1 miss for the second loop.

Boe missed 1 on his second prone but had a big margin and held the lead. Fourcade and Loginov also hit 5/5 as did Erik Lesser and Benajmin Weger who were on their tails.

At the third shoot Johannes missed another but again kept out in front. Behind him Fourcade, Loginov, Lesser and Weger all missed 2 and Boe’s lead was maintained. However next in the range were Tarjei Boe, Quentin Fillon Maillet, Dmytro Pidruchnyi, Antonin Guigonnat and Evgeniy Garanichev who all cleaned and found themselves fighting for the silver and bronze.

At the final shoot it all went wrong for Boe missing 3 targets. Even if he had missed just 2 he probably would have won but not 3. Pidruchnyi was the only one of the chase group who held his nerve and cleaned while the others all missed 1.

By this time Pidruchnyi was gone and Johannes was off the penalty loop into second but third was still up for grabs. It went down to a ski race between Fillon Maillet and Tarjei Boe with the Frenchman just that bit faster claiming his second bronze medal in two days.

It was an unbelievable race from Pidruchnyi who is probably not so upset about missing the bronze in the sprint by 0.3 of a second now that he is the pursuit World Champion!!!

Martin Fourcade finished 5th and Andrejs Rastorgujevs was 6th.

Elsewhere Michal Krcmar went from 44th to 25th,Thomas Bormolini from 43rd to 27th and Matvey Eliseev from 51st to 35th.

Tomorrow is a rest day which is lucky as there are a few biathletes who won’t be getting much sleep tonight for very different reasons!!!

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