Tiril Eckhoff Victorious in Oslo Women's Mass Start
Norway's Tiril Eckhoff, with one penalty won the Oslo women's mass start, the final competition of the season, in 34:23.1 for her second victory of the season. Gabriela Koukalová of Czech Republic, also with one penalty finished second, 22.6 seconds back, securing the small crystal globe for the mass start. Finland's Kaisa Mäkäräinen, with two penalties, moved from sixth at the start of the last loop to finish third, 34.5 seconds back.
Koukalová's teammate Veronika Vitkova, with two penalties finished in a season-best fourth place, 36.1 seconds back. Fifth went to Franziska Hildebrand, with one penalty, 39 seconds back. Sprint/pursuit winner Mari Laukkanen of Finland, with two penalties, finished sixth, 40 seconds back.
2016 World Sprint Champion Eckhoff struggled on the range all season, was today focused avoiding penalties. "I was very fed up gong to the penalty loop; today I managed to shoot good. I was thinking to attack and do as good as I can, but I'm glad that I could take the targets down. That is my main issue."
She added: "I realized that I will win after the last shooting, I was pretty confident. I just had to don't fall in the downhill, and so I did"
Small Crystal Globe Number Two for Koukalová
Yellow Bib Laura Dahlmeier of Germany started the day with an 11-point lead over Koukalová in the mass start standings. That lead disappeared when the German finished ninth, with three penalties, 54.2 seconds back giving the title to the Czech star, who earlier picked up the sprint title and small crystal globe.
One of Best Seasons
Koukalová, with two podiums this week and ten for the season had one of her best year in biathlon. "Its one of the best seasons of my life. I'm very glad to work with the people around the team and within the team. I have to say big thanks to all this people. I hope this is a good gift for them."
She admitted, with a smile, to being pretty relaxed today. "I was not under the pressure today, I tried imagine that I'm at the athlete's party!"
Tough Week for Mäkäräinen
The loss of her shooting coach Asko Nuutinen was among the things that weighed on Mäkäräinen this week.
"It has been some hard times this week. I’m happy with the result today. I felt better on the skis today then in the previous competitions. I just tried to focus on myself and not on the result today."