Final IBU Cup 8 in Khanty-Mansiysk
The last IBU Cup 8 of the 2017-18 season kick soff tomorrow for 18 nations with 55 men and 48 women at the regular World Cup venue in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia.
The season-closing Cup promises to be exciting and full of surprises with the introduction of a new discipline, the super sprint. IBU Cup Race Director Felix Bitterling explained, “Wednesday will be a special day for us because we will conduct a super sprint, which is a premiere on the international IBU event level. The rules of the super sprint are simple: it is composed of two parts, the qualification and the final. The course length is always 800m. The qualification is run off as a time trial with single starts with 30 seconds intervals (deviating from current rule -15 Sec-, only for this test events). The total competition length is 2.4 km (three times 800m, with two shooting stages, prone and standing). The best 30 athletes from the qualification then start simultaneously in the final and compete for over 4 km (5 loops of 800m and 4 shooting stages, (prone, prone, standing, standing). In both the qualification and the final, three spare rounds can be used per bout, if the targets are not cleaned, the athlete has to go to the 75 m penalty loop. Both qualifications and finals are conducted on the same day.”
Except for the new discipline, Khanty-Mansiysk will also see the winners of the IBU Cup Total Score determined. After Uvat, the France's Chloe Chevalier, who was holding the top position in the women’s Total Score, dropped to second place and now shares that position with Nadine Horchler of Germany. Nadine’s younger sister Karolin with a good performance at the last Cup became the new leader of the overall. Her current advantage is 28 points with three more competitions to go.
The German is really excited about her top position. “I really hope to win the Total Score; it is actually my dream because I could not do it before. I want to finish first, but at the same time, it does not put any pressure on me and I’m pretty relaxed before the upcoming competitions.” Karolin also commented on the new discipline. “I haven’t done it before, it is for sure something new for me. But I’m really looking forward to the super sprint because I think it is crazy and fun to have two fast races on the same day."
Change in Men’s Field
At the same time, there was also a change in the men’s overall after the Uvat competitions. Norway’s Fredrik Gjesbakk moved to second, while his teammate Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen topped the men’s Total Score with a 58 point lead.
In the women’s IBU Cup Sprint Score, with two more competitions to go, Karolin Horchler is also leading, while in the Pursuit Score, Chevalier tops the standings. In the men’s field, Gjesbakk has the advantage in the both, Sprint and Pursuit Scores. The upcoming competition days will bring the answer about who wins those Globes.
The schedule for the final IBU Cup 8 with local times follows (CET +4 hours).
11:00 Super Sprint Women Qualification
13:00 Super Sprint Men Qualification
17:45 Super Sprint Women Final
19:15 Super Sprint Men Final
11:00 Sprint Women
14:00 Sprint Men
11:00 Pursuit Women
13:30 Pursuit Men