12th World Cup Win for Martin Fourcade in Pyeongchang Pursuit
Martin Fourcade started third, but finished first in Pyeongchang pursuit today in 31:24.2, with no penalties. Russia’s Anton Shipulin matched Fourcade on the shooting range, finishing second, 34.5 seconds back. Yesterday’s sprint winner Austria’s Julian Eberhard with three penaltries was third, 35.7 seconds back.
His teammate Simon Eder, with two penalties was just one step from the podium, 1:03.2 back. Russia’s Evgeniy Garanichev, with two penalties was fifth, 1.09.5. France’s Simon Desthieux, with two penalties was sixth, 1:13.5 back.
40 second Advantage Disappears
Eberhard started the men’s pursuit with a 40 second advantage, but two penalties in the second prone saw Fourcade take control. Shipulin had a strong comeback with clean shooting and fast skiing, moving from 23rd to sixth.
No Chance for Others
Just like Dahlmeier in the earlier women's pursuit, Fourcade gave his opponents no chance, continuing to shoot clean until he crossed the finish, with his sixth consecutive pursuit victory. The battle was for second and third; after the first standing it looked like two Austrians would take the remaining podium spots, with Eder, Eberhard and Landertinger all chasing Fourcade. In the final standing, all three Austrian men picked up penalties, opening the door for Shipulin to take second place, followed by Eberhard in third.
Fourcade: Breaking Björndalen's Records
Fourcade was excited by his 12th win this season. “I am part of this generation who grew up watching Björndalen on television. He is just so inspiring. I came to the stadium very tired, I want to thank him for being as inspiring as he was as I was growing up.”
He said the competition was not perfect for him today.“Not far from perfect race, there were others behind me, they kept pushing and pushing. I keep the perfect race for next winter.”
Regarding the 2018 OWG, Fourcade added, “It was important for me to come here and to smell the atmosphere. It’s strange because everything I have seen the last days, will be different next February.”
Shooting the Difference for Shipulin
Shipulin said his shooting was the difference today. “Today, the shooting did the trick. I cannot remember last time I shot clean in a competition with four shooting stages. I think our service men did a great job: the skis were going very fast, and I felt like I was in a good shape. I just wish I had the same mood yesterday.”
This was Eberhard's first pursuit podium. “I am very happy about my first podium in the pursuit competition. It was not a perfect race, it was a good race. “