Wire-to-Wire Win for Anastasiya Kuzmina in Oberhof Pursuit
Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia, despite two penalties led from wire-to-wire to win the women’s 10K pursuit this morning in Oberhof. The pursuit win gave the Yellow Bib a sprint/pursuit sweep this week. Dorothea Wierer of Italy shot clean to jump from 16th at the start to second place, 1:04.4 back. Vita Semerenko of Ukraine, matching the Italian on the shooting range, made and even bigger jump from 22nd to third, 1:10.2 back.
First 20-for-20 for Nowakowska
Fourth place and another season-best went to the third clean shot of the day, Weronika Nowakowska of Poland, 1:17.1 back. Nowakowska commented at the finish line, with a big smile, "This is the first time in my career that I ever hit 20-for-20." Kaisa Mäkäräinen of Finland, with three penalties, finished fifth, 1:23.4 back, while Darya Domracheva of Belarus with two penalties, was sixth, 1:28.8 back.
Kuzmina in Charge
This was the best day of the week on the shooting range, with virtually no wind, but again warm plus 4 temperatures. Kuzmina comfortably led the field through the first loop, shot all alone in prone, cleaned and left with a 55 second lead on the field. Hildebrand matched her with a clean stage to move into second, while Vitkova and Mäkäräinen, both with penalties, dropped third and fourth. Behind them the next 11 women shot clean, including Laura Dahlmeier who moved from 13th to 6th heading to the second prone. The Slovakian missed one shot in the second prone, cutting her lead to 44 seconds over Hildebrand and Domracheva who both cleaned again, with the Finn and Dahlmeier close behind.
Wierer and Semerenko Move Up
After prone, 10 of the top 11 had not missed a shot. The leader shot aggressively in the first standing, but missed one shot, as did Domracheva who had moved into second. Hildebrand continued her perfect day with another 5-for-5 as did Wierer who was now up to third. However Dahlmeier, Domracheva and Vita Semerenko were just a few second behind the Italian as they left for the last loop.
Five Targets Down, Smile, Victory Loop
Five women were within 10 seconds of third place before the final standing stage. Again shooting all alone, the five targets went down easily for the Yellow Bib. After the last shot, she let out a smile plus a small shout and left for a victory loop. Wierer matched the leader with a 5-for-5, moving into second with Semerenko and Nowakowska more than 10 seconds back. Nothing changed in the last loop among the top three and they crossed in the same order they left the shooting range.
The winner commented on her day and emotions. “It was a very interesting race for me today; my shape is very good now but I was worried if I could concentrate on the shooting…After the first shooting, I was relaxed and realized it was okay. I just gave the other girls two chances…I must apologize for my emotion (on the shooting range), but I was so happy and enjoyed the last loop.”
Wierer, Semerenko: Confident Shooting
Wierer commented on her big move. “It was perfect for me. I was not sure it was possible, because of my sickness and missing training, but I am really confident about my shooting right now. It was four times zero, so that was good.”
Semerenko also admitted her shooting was the key today. “I was very disappointed with the sprint. I was super nervous that day. So I decided to take today as it went. I had perfect shooting perfect shootings and that is extremely big.”