Zagoruiko and Loginov Win IBU Cup Pursuits
Russia’s Anastasia Zagoruiko won the women’s pursuit at IBU Cup 6 with two penalties in 33:20.8. In the afternoon, her teammate Alexander Loginov doubled up after winning yesterday's sprint to win the men’s pursuit with the only penalty in 34:15.7.
Chloe Chevalier of France missed once on her way to second place, 8.7 seconds back. Germany’s Karolin Horchler, the only clean shooter, finished third, 25.8 seconds back.
Another Russian Daria Virolaynen, with four penalties dfinished fourth, 28.4 seconds back. Local favorite and the leader until the last shooting stage Karin Oberhofer missed twice in the final standing, losing her chance to stay on the podium. In the end, she finished fifth, 55.1 seconds behind. Chevalier’s teammate Enora Latuilliere, third in the sprint, today with five penalties finished sixth, 1:17.7 back.
The last day in Martell started with the women’s pursuit. Calm wind conditions on the shooting range gave the women an opportunity to shoot well but only one athlete, bib 12 Karolin Horchler managed to hit all targets. After the first prone stage, Slivko lost the 20-second advantage she had at the start but still was in first. She was followed by bib 4 Oberhofer 12.9 seconds behind. By the second prone, the Italian reduced the gap, shot clean and left two seconds ahead of Slivko. Zagoruiko and Latuilliere, with one penalty after the first prone, followed them another 9 seconds back.
Last Lap Battle
The first standing did not see many changes, as Oberhofer and Slivko were still leading the pack, but now bib 11 Chevalier with one miss moved to fourth, Horchler was in fifth. For the final stage, the Italian came to the shooting range with a comfortable gap on her rivals, but she started to miss when the others entered the range. While Oberhofer went to the penalty loop Zagoruiko cleaned and left 3.6 seconds ahead of Chevalier, who also shot perfectly. She tried to catch the Russian, but on the last uphill Zagoruiko was just too strong, leaving Chevalier behind. Horchler, who left in third after standing, kept her position until the finish line.
Zagoruiko, "When I came to the last standing, I heard that Karin did not hit targets, so I tried to do my best and shot clean because it was my chance to leave as a leader."#IBU_Cup pic.twitter.com/MiDMnHoWbt— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) February 3, 2018
Hard For Both
Zagoruiko commented on the final lap battle, “I knew that the French girl was behind me, but I also understood that it was very hard for both of us. I thought that she would try to catch me on the last leg, but at the same time, I knew that I would battle and was not even thinking about giving away the first place.”
Behind Loginov, teammate Dmitry Malyshko despite three penalties finished second, 2:38.9 behind. Haavard Gutuboe Bogetveit of Norway due to clean shooting made a great comeback; from 25th at the start, he moved to third at the finish, 2:59.4 back.
Fourth went to Fabien Claude of France with three penalties, 3:12.1 behind. Russia’s Alexey Volkov lost his chance to make the podium with two mistakes at the final standing, 3:12.7 back. The last place in top six went to Austria’s Felix Leitner with four penalties, 3:18.2 behind.
Starting the competition with an advantage of 1:13 over his closest pursuer, Loginov felt very comfortable on the track. When he came to the first shooting, he missed with the very first shot, but that was his only mistake today. He left the penalty loop before others even entered the stadium. Loginov increased his lead with every leg, overlapping nine athletes, who were unable to finish.
Battle for the 2-3
It was obvious that no one could catch the fast Russian even with clean shooting, so the battle was for the second and third places. Malyshko missed twice at the first prone, but with misses buy his rivals and the next two clean stages, he came back into the contention. For the last standing, he came together with Volkov, who was perfect until that time. While Malyshko missed once, his teammate went for two penalty loops, giving others the chance to take the last podium spot. Bogetveit took this chance and with an ideal shooting, he left in third, 19 seconds behind the Russian and 13 seconds ahead of Christiansen.
Bogetveit, "I'm very satisfied with my today's competition. It was a top race for me with zero penalties and normal speed on the track. At the shooting range, I just relaxed and did what I planned to do." pic.twitter.com/EC1ghEqVHp— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) February 3, 2018
Bogetveit was very happy about his comeback, “Actually, I’ve never gained so many positions in pursuits. And honestly, before the start, I did not expect to be on the podium today.”