Oestersund stepped in to host the final World Cup round of the season after Holmenkollen was cancelled for the second year in a row. It’s a shame for the Norwegian team who are going to win a lot of crystal that they can’t celebrate in front of their own fans but I guess Sweden is the next best place! 😉
It was a different venue but the same result in the women’s sprint. Tiril Eckhoff continued her tremendous form by winning her 7th sprint race this season and as only the 7 best races count towards the sprint rankings she got maximum points! Incredible.
Once again she won with 9/10. It was a miss in the stand today that made her have to dig really deep to claim the victory. Dorothea Wierer had piled the pressure on early hitting 10/10 and it took a lot for Eckhoff to beat her which she did in the end by just 2.5 seconds.
The Italian had to settle for second but she has come into good form right at the end of the season. Third place went to Ingrid Tandrevold who also hit 10/10 and is finding late form too.
Anais Chevalier-Bouchet was 4th, Lisa Hauser 5th and Marte Olsbu Roeiseland 6th.
There was a personal best for Milena Todorova in 8th with 10/10 and for Ida Lien in 9th also with 10 hits. Johanna Taliherm got her PB in 19th shooting zero as did Sanita Bulina in 32nd also with 10. Karoline Erdal got her best result so far in 49th with 1 miss. IBU cup winner Vanessa Voigt was 57th for a PB and qualified for a first World Cup pursuit.
There were a few World Cup debuts today most notably Stina Nilsson who finished 26th with 9/10. She has been racing on the IBU Cup but this is her best race so far. You can tell she is a big time performer!
Amy Baserga got her first World Cup start after success at Junior level and she was 83rd with 7/10. Juliane Fruehwirt was 62nd with 1 miss and Anastasia Shevchenko was 53rd with 1 miss to qualify for the pursuit.
The men’s sprint was also very close at the front with Lukas Hofer finally winning again 7 years after his first World Cup victory. He has been in great form recently and thoroughly deserves the win.
He hit 10/10 and skied really well but it was his perfomance on the range that made the difference and I don’t mean his shooting. Sebastian Samuelson had a faster ski time and also hit 10/10 but finished 4 seconds behind Hofer. It was Hofer’s speed skiing out of the range to the split timing point that won him the race and probably his speed at putting on his rifle and getting off the mat quickly. He has been working on these marginal gains for a long time and today it paid off.
Samuelsson took second and the evergreen Tarjei Boe was third also shooting zero. Simon Desthieux was 4th with 10/10 and Quentin Fillon Maillet 5th with 9/10.
Then we come to the race within the race between Sturla Laegreid and Johannes Boe. Boe missed 2 in the prone again and was on the back foot but produced a fabulous standing shoot to put him into 7th. Laegreid hit 10/10 and was 6th! It is very close between them in the race for the Overall but while Laegreid’s shooting remains strong he is looking a bit tired on the skis and Boe is the opposite! His confidence is gone in the prone shoot but his skiing is still super fast.
Elsewhere Thierry Langer acheived his personal best in 15th with 10/10, Tsukasa Kobonoki got his PB in 28th with 0-0 too.
There were more debuts for IBU Cup winner Filip Fjeld Andersen who was 58th with 7/10, David Zobel who was 52nd with 8/10 and Justus Strelow who was 37th with 9/10. They all qualified for their first World Cup pursuit. Eric Perrot also made his debut finishing 76th.
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