Career Win #1 for Alexander Loginov in Oberhof Sprint
Russia’s Alexander Loginov, after four podiums but no wins this season won the Oberhof sprint this afternoon, shooting clean in 25:50.9 for the first World Cup win of his career. Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway, with a single standing penalty finished second, 25.9 seconds back. Sweden’s Sebastian Samuelsson who won pursuit Silver and Relay Gold at the 2018 OWG shot clean, 36.8 seconds back for the first World Cup podium of his career.
Oberhof Men's Sprint
German teammates Benedikt Doll and Arnd Peiffer finished fourth and fifth, both with single penalties, 38.8 and 39.3 seconds back, respectively. Austria’s Julian Eberhard, also with one penalty finished sixth, 44.5 seconds back.
Oberhof got back to “normal” today, with some fog, light snow increasing and sub-freezing temperatures. There was more wind on the shooting range than yesterday crossing from left to right but at times reversing. Still, there was plenty of good shooting in prone. Standing proved to be the trickiest with few going unscathed by the Oberhof conditions.
Fast Start for Johannes
Unsurprisingly, Johannes started fast with a 13 second lead by the time he came to the prone stage. He accordingly shot clean, as had his brother and Loginov a few minutes earlier. Fourcade, shooting in heavy snow and wind missed one shot. Late starters number 63 Doll. 65 Peiffer and 70 Samuelsson were the only men to make a run at the top group. All three cleaned Doll the closest to the top just 12.6 seconds behind Johannes.
Interestingly, number 16 Loginov and number 17 Fourcade came to the standing stage together. Both cleaned but Loginov was much faster to keep his 35 second gap on the French star. Both Boe brothers missed a single standing shot. Although Johannes was leading into the range, the penalty loop flipped the advantage to Loginov in the form of a 14 second lead going into the last loop. Doll mad his podium run first but missed a shot as did his teammate. The young Swedish star topped them both with a five-for five to leave just 7 seconds behind Johannes.
Loginov Simply Faster
The last loop was all Loginov; he was simply faster in the soft snow. By the time he crossed the finish line, the gap on Fourcade had increased to 47 seconds. Johannes likewise had no response to the Russian; the 14.2 seconds back at the range was up to 19.6 seconds with 1400 meters to go. By the finish the gap was over 25 seconds.
He already won Olympic gold and silver -- but today @SebbeSamuelsson gets his first individual World Cup podium! #achievementunlocked #OBE19 😁— IBU World Cup (@IBU_WC) January 11, 2019
Follow the men's sprint on https://t.co/bk5aBBso9Q pic.twitter.com/1vKZub4G3v
Tired, but Third
Samuelsson struggled on the last loop, as everyone had, but held it together just enough to complete the podium. His third place finish improved on his previous World Cup best of 9th in the season-opening men’s 20K individual at Pokljuka. The 21-year-old was happy to have survived. “I felt tired in the last kilometers; I just tried to catch the people in front of me and ski as fast as I can. I am really happy that I managed this with only 2 seconds.
Loginov commented on that last loop. “I was informed all the time but not specifically what the difference was between me and Johannes. The coaches told me I needed to go full out which is what I did. The last lap was really good; I finished well and am happy with the result.”
He added, regarding his first-ever World Cup win, “Basically I am satisfied; I am a person who keeps his emotions inside, but I am happy. I shot without any errors.”
Johannes knew what he had to do to win. “Normally you have to shoot zero to fight for the win today and I did not do it…I tried to ski as fast as I could in the last lap.”
Samuelsson’s podium today showed was quite satisfying. “It is nice to be here for the first time. Olympics were really great for me; it has been important for me to show that it is not only the Olympics; that I can fight for the podium after that. Today is the proof of that. It gives me a lot of self-confidence to go forward.”