Laukkanen Doubles Up with Oslo Pursuit Win
Finland's Mari Laukkanen, with just a single standing penalty, doubled her fun claiming today's women's pursuit and her second career victory just 24 hours after her first career victory in the sprint. Her wire-to-wire victory in 29:33.3 put the Finn 26.5 seconds ahead of clean-shooting Gabriela Koukalová of Czech Republic. Justine Braisaz, despite four penalties but great ski speed, finished third 1:01.4 back.
Teja Gregorin of Slovenia, with one penalty finished fourth, with Austria's Lisa Theresa Hauser, shooting clean in fifth, 1:12.5 back. Marte Olsbu of Norway, with three penalties finished sixth, 1:15.9 back.
Laukkanen in Control
Laukkanen, despite one penalty loop in the last standing, was not threatened by Koukalová who cleaned the last standing. Although Koukalová closed the gap from 12.8 seconds after the last standing to 10.6 seconds with 700 meters to go, she was unable to get any closer to the winner.
The winner did not expect another win, just hours after her first-ever top-of-the-podium appearance.
"It was difficult to think about victory today, to do it again immediately after my first victory was hard. I was not thinking about winning or losing just doing my work today."
Koukalová entered today's competition well-focused. She commented, "I did not think about result today, but focus on my shooting and skiing. I'm happy for clean shooting and about my result."
Victory in Honor of Asko Nuutinen
Laukkanen competed with a black armband, honoring her shooting coach Asko Nuutinen who passed away yesterday. With tears in her eyes, she commented,“We lost our shooting coach. Today I did as he has taught me to do. I was thinking about him; I honor him with this victory.”
Pursuit Globe to Laura Dahlmeier
Laura Dahlmeier of Germany led the Pursuit Cup by 41 points, before today's competition, needing to finish 22nd or higher to clinch th title. Her 11th place finish clinched globe number three with 405 points to Koukalová's 384 points.
Surprising Third for Braisaz
Braisaz, with four penalties was surprised to be on the podium again. "I did not expect such a good place today. In the last shooting I completely failed. I really wanted to have a clean shooting today, and I did not succeed."