Sivert Guttorm Bakken and Nadia Moser Take IBU Cup Sprints
Sivert Guttorm Bakken of Norway took his first senior victory by winning in the men’s sprint with clean shooting at IBU Cup 3 in 22:33.3. Later in the day, Nadia Moser matched Bakken on the range and won the women’s sprint in 20:43.4, taking her first-ever podium.
Russia’s Petr Pashchenko was very close to his first season podium, but one penalty and a lost ski pole at the prone stage, saw him finish only fourth, 30.4 seconds behind. The super sprint winner Sindre Pettersen of Norway finished fifth with two penalties, 35.6 seconds back. Another Norwegian Haavard Gutuboe Bogetveit, despite three misses, finished sixth, 43.1 seconds behind.
Early Start Number
A beautiful, sunny morning with a light wind on the shooting range welcomed 118 athletes to the last competition day in Obertilliach. Early bib 2 Bakken started with a clean prone, matching the same perfect shooting in standing. He left the stadium in the lead and was challenged only by Fratzscher. The German, with the same ideal shooting, was 7.1 seconds behind the Norwegian after the second stage, reducing the gap on the final lap. At the finish, only 2.4 seconds separated Fratzscher from the top spot.
S.G.Bakken, "It feels good to lead the #IBU_Cup Total Score; before the season I didn't expect to compete here at all and now I see that I can keep up with the guys, so it's really great!"— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) December 22, 2018
Fourcade started his competition with late start number 108, when most of the main contenders had already finished. He easily hit 5 targets in the prone stage, leaving fifth, 14.6 seconds behind the leader. Clean shooting in standing allowed him to move to third position and securely keep it until the finish line.
Clean-shooting Luise Kummer of Germany finished fourth with one penalty, 1.9 seconds back. Russia’s Larisa Kuklina was also perfect on the range, finishing fifth, 2.3 seconds behind, while her teammate Svetlana Mironova with one miss was sixth, 6.4 seconds back.
An unbelievable women’s sprint with an incredibly tight finish closed the competition program at IBU Cup 3. 104 women stepped on the track to battle for the final set of medals before the Christmas break. Moser gave a perfect present not only for herself but also for the whole Canadian team. She shot clean on both ranges and was fast enough on the track to reduce the 4.5 second gap she had after the standing stage. Giving it all on the finish, she crossed the line in first and could not hold back her tears of happiness.
Missing once in standing, Gerbulova left the stadium in sixth, 17.3 seconds behind the leader. Flying over the course, she managed to climb the standings and finish second. Earlier bib 13 Bankes had the same mistake in standing and the same powerful last loop, finishing just 0.7 seconds behind the teammate but taking her first senior podium!
N.Moser, "I feel so happy now because I didn't expect to win today and it became a real surprise. And the fact that too Canadians are on the podium, makes me feel even happier. It is just amazing!"— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) December 22, 2018
Photos: IBU/Stefan Adelsberger