IBU Cup Sprint Wins for Simon and Loginov
20-year old Julia Simon of France had just one penalty in today’s women’s sprint on her way to the first IBU Cup win of her career in 24:32.6. Later in the day, Alexander Loginov of Russia won the men’s sprint with two penalties in 24:34.0.
Russia’s Daria Virolaynen despite three penalties crossed the finish line in second, 17.6 seconds back. Baiba Bendika of Latvia had her first-ever podium in third, with two penalties, 22.1 seconds behind.
With her third place finish, Bendika pushed two Russian athletes Victoria Slivko and Svetlana Mironova from the podium; they tied with one and four penalties respectively, finishing fourth, 26.7 seconds back. One of two today’s clean shooters Czech’s Lea Johanidesova was sixth, 30.1 seconds behind.
First Podium in 8 Years
After the calm and sunny training day yesterday, the wind came back to Martell, resulting in a new challenging competition for the athletes. Simon, who hit all the targets, finishing third in the first sprint, demonstrated great shooting skills again. Starting with bib number 5, she made a miss at the prone, cleaned all at the standing and left the stadium as a leader, keeping the top position until the finish. Virolaynen was perfect in the first prone, but missed three times in standing, leaving after the penalty loop only 7th with a 49.8 second gap to first. She flew over the last lap, winning back the positions with each meter and finishing second. Late start number 82 Bendika had a penalty in each stage, leaving sixth after standing. As with Virolaynen, she was really fast at the final lap and claimed the second position. On the last downhill before the finish line she fell, losing precious seconds. Nevertheless, finishing third, she brought the first women’s podium place for Latvia in the last 8 years!
Simon, who was also competing at the IBU Junior Cup this season and had a win there, was happy to get a senior victory, “It was a very good race for me, I'm in a good shape and very pleased to win. I like to compete at the IBU Cup with seniors; the level is very high here.”
After Loginov, second place went to the only clean shooting man, Martin Femsteinevik of Norway, 44.2 seconds back. Germany’s Michael Willeitner finished third with one penalty, 1:23.4 behind.
Austria swept the next three places with Fabian Hoerl fourth, 1:34.9 back, Sven Grossegger fifth, 1:38.2 behind and Peter Brunner sixth. All three had two penalties.
The same weather conditions prevailed during the men’s sprint with the wind crossing the shooting range from time to time. Despite that, Loginov was lucky at the prone stage and with no gusts shot clean. In standing he missed twice, but his rivals were also making mistakes; allowing the fast Russian to overcome those penalties and to increase his advantage. Femsteinevik, who started few minutes after Loginov, managed to hit all the targets, but was not fast enough on the track, finishing second for first international podium. After standing, where he missed once, Willeitner left in fourth with a 10 seconds gap to third. On the last lap he easily reduced it, taking the last place at the podium.
Most Important Rival
After the finish Loginov admitted he had more luck during the shooting today, than in first sprint. “In the previous competition I was really unlucky. I spent 1:50 minutes on the standing; it only seems that it is better to come, shoot fast and go to the penalties. But when you stay, you think that the gust cannot last 3 minutes… it turned out that it can. Today I was lucky at the prone, I had 15 seconds without wind, shot fast and left. On the standing I had two misses, but I understood there was no reason to wait. The most important rival is yourself, you must have endurance and work wisely on the distance.”