Laura Dahlmeier Captures Le Grand Bornand Pursuit
Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier completed her return from an early season cold that kept her from competing in Östersund to win the women’s 10K pursuit today at Le Grand Bornand, with a single penalty, in 30:09.9. Dahlmeier, with her first victory of the new season, finished 14 seconds ahead of sprint winner Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia, with four penalties. Third went to Italy’s Lisa Vittozzi, also with one penalty, 31.8 seconds back.
Switzerland’s Selina Gasparin finished with her best result of the season in fourth, with two penalties, 52.8 seconds back. Dahlmeier’s teammate Denise Herrmann was fifth, with two penalties, 55.2 seconds back. Sixth went to Susan Dunklee of the USA, also in a season best, with two penalties, 1:12.1 back.
It was another day of good weather, with huge crowds for the women’s pursuit. The winds remained light; once again meaning it would take good shooting to win.
Kuzmina Penalties Open Door for Dahlmeier
Kuzmina pushed the first loop and picked up three penalties in the first prone stage. This opened the door for Dahlmeier who took over the lead, with Vita and Gasparin matching in second and third but 14.8 and 20.5 seconds back as they left for the second prone. Dahlmeier once again cleaned, and was gone before anyone fired a shot. Vita matched to leave in second, while Kuzmina cleaned and was now in third position. Herrmann dropped all five targets for the second time to stay close. 30.4 seconds back with Vittozzi just behind her.
Dahlmeier in Charge
Last year’s Crystal Globe winner looked confident as she headed to the first standing stage, more than 20 seconds up on the field. She was breathing hard, but hit all five shots with three in the prone ring. Kuzmina continued her climb with a very fast stage, leaving her now just 12.5 seconds behind the German star, but 14 seconds ahead of Vita.
Showdown in Standing
Kuzmina pushed the pace, rapidly closing the gap on Dahlmeier, less than 10 seconds apart as they came to the range. A showdown on the shooting range would determine the winner. Dahlmeier dropped four targets quickly but missed the final shot. As she left for the penalty loop, Kuzmina shot slowly but also missed the last shot; she responded with a huge gasp of disappointment. She had missed her opportunity to win. Dahlmeier was in control, with almost 20 seconds on the Slovakian. Vittozzi was now comfortably in third, after another clean stage; the podium was set.
“Just Thought About My Shooting”
Dahlmeier was elated with her win, but was focused on one thing, shooting, during the competition. “It is so nice to be on the top of the podium again, especially in this place with such a great atmosphere. It was a perfect day for me; I was very lucky; she made three mistakes and the door was a little opened for me…I tried to focus on myself and the shooting. I thought it would be important to shoot well…I did not think about any position or place, I just thought about my shooting.
Kuzmina let her emotions get the best of her. “I was maybe too emotional in the first shooting. I was thinking too much about how I could take a lead in the first part of the competition, if possible. But I am just human and made a mistake, giving a chance for Laura . She also gave me a chance in the last shooting and you can see the result!”
Breaking Fourth Place Streak
Vittozzi was pleased to break her string of fourth place finishes. “It is fantastic…today I really wanted to be on the podium after three times fourth place.” She admitted good shooting was important. “I knew I had to shot clean because I am not so fast on the tracks as Kuzmina or Laura…one mistake was good.”