Natalia Gerbulova and Alexander Povarnitsyn Take IBU Cup Sprints
Natalia Gerbulova of Russia won the women’s sprint at IBU Cup 4 in Duszniki-Zdrój with two penalties in 22:10.7. Later in the day, her teammate Alexander Povarnitsyn shot clean to finish first in the men’s sprint in 24:09.4.
Behind Gerbulova, another Russian Victoria Slivko finished second with a single penalty, 5.6 seconds back. The third place went to Gerbulova’s teammate Anastasiia Morozova with two penalties, 22.7 seconds behind.
Johanna Skottheim of Sweden finished fourth with one penalty, 25.5 seconds back, while her clean-shooting teammate Felicia Lindqvist was fifth, 35.6 seconds behind. Sixth place went to Russia’s Elizaveta Kaplina with a single miss, 35.8 seconds back.
Notably that Ingela Andersson of Sweden, who competed this week at the World Cup in Oberhof, moved back to the IBU Cup and with today’s 7th place she secured her current first position in the women’s IBU Cup Total Score.
IBU Cup 4 in Duszniki-Zdrój kicked off with the women’s sprint for 86 competitors. Light wind gusts, which crossed the shooting range from side to side, caused some problems for the athletes, especially during the standing stage. With a perfect prone stage, Gerbulova left the stadium as the leader but missed twice at the second shooting. Nevertheless, her great speed on the track allowed the Russian to cover the penalty loops very fast and cross the finish line in first.
🇷🇺N.Gerbulova, "Today, I felt really good on the track and after two standing penalties, I think that my skiing 'saved' me. Nevertheless, I am glad about my competition and so happy to get my first senior win!"— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) January 12, 2019
Slivko was more accurate on the shooting range than her teammate and with a single penalty at the standing, she left in the lead but only 2.4 seconds ahead of Gerbulova. By the next split point, Slivko dropped to second place, keeping it until the finish. With a miss in the first shooting stage, Morozova was just 15th; she collected one more penalty in standing but despite that moved to 8th position. Leaving for the final lap with 17 seconds gap from the third, she gave it all on the track and took the last position on the podium, making the podium completely Russian.
In the men’s sprint, second place went to clean-shooting Nikita Porshnev of Russia, 24.9 seconds back. Norway’s Johannes Dale finished third with a single penalty, finishing a mere .1 seconds behind Porshnev.
Russia’s Eduard Latypov was fourth with two penalties, 28.4 seconds back. Tore Leren of Norway finished fifth with perfect shooting, 29.0 seconds behind, while another Russian Alexey Slepov was sixth with two penalties, 38.8 seconds back.
🇷🇺A.Povarnitsyn, "I feel happy about my win, especially because I shot clean. But on the track it was hard and I didn't feel very good, as I think, I am not in my best condition right now."— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) January 12, 2019
Before the men’s competition, fog enshrouded the stadium, but still did not prevent athletes from shooting well. While his rivals were making some mistakes in standing, early start number 12 Povarnitsyn was perfect in both stages and fast enough on the tracks to leave in first after standing. He was challenged by the bib 108 Porshnev who also shot clean and left the stadium only .8 seconds behind the teammate. The young Russian could not keep up the high speed on the final lap and lost almost 25 seconds but still finished second.
After clean prone and one standing penalty, the fast Dale was ranked 6th at the end of the competition, but the Norwegian was among nine athletes facing obstructions on the track. Following a jury decision, 15 seconds were deducted from those athlete's times, which saw Dale claiming the third place and moving Latypov to fourth.
Photos: IBU/Igor Stancik