Norwegians Soerum and Kalkenberg victorious in Canmore Sprints

Norway’s Emilie Aagheim Kalkenberg made it a Canmore double today winning the IBU Cup women’s 7.5 km sprint, with a single penalty just three days after victory in Sunday’s women’s super sprint. Kalkenberg took control of the competition after a clean prone stage, going unchallenged to a 21:24.4 victory. Her teammate Vebjoern Soerum, with one penalty won the men’s 10 km sprint in 25:35.5 giving Norway a second consecutive day of double victories following Aleksandr Fjeld Andersen and Marthe Krakstad Johansen’s mass start 60 wins yesterday.

Soerum, “Stay calm”

Soerum was a bit nervous when his teammate got ahead 1300 meters before the finish. “I was worried that Johan was going to take the victory, but in the end it worked out.” Regarding his one penalty after five penalties and a disappointing eleventh place in yesterday’s mass start 60, Soerum added, “That was really bad. Today, I just tried to stay calm and hit the targets. But just like in last week’s sprint, I missed the last shot today.”

Pleased with successful season

Still, the 24-year-old Norwegian was quite pleased about how his season has gone with four victories and eleven individual podiums. “I had surgery in the fall and since then, everything has been going up. I was especially pleased with the two Gold medals and the Silver medal at the European Championships…Now I hope that I get a chance to start in the World Cup at Holmenkollen.”

Botet wins IBU Cup Sprint Score

France’s Paula Botet, also with one penalty finished second 21 seconds back, securing the IBU Cup Sprint Score crystal globe. Botet admitted to being a bit nervous after dropping out of yesterday’s mass start 60 with fatigue. “I was really nervous. I was quite afraid about my shape, because yesterday I did not finish the race; I was tired.”

Regarding the Sprint Score title, she added, “That was my goal yesterday when I did not finish the race. I wanted to be focused on winning this small globe. I am really proud of myself.”

Kalkenberg’s teammates clean-shooting Marthe Krakstad Johansen and Maren Kirkeeide, with one penalty finished third and fourth, 29.1 and 53.4 seconds back, respectively. Germany’s Lisa Maria Spark, with one penalty finished fifth, 59.8 seconds back, followed by Sweden’s Johanna Skottheim, with two penalties, 1:03.5 back.

Header iconCanmore IBU Cup 8 Sprints

Men’s Sprint: Season Winding Down

In the men’s sprint, Soerum’s teammate Johan-Olav Botn, with one penalty finished second, 4.1 seconds back. Third and fourth went to clean-shooting Italians Daniele Cappellari and Nicola Romain, 21.9 and 26.2 seconds back, respectively. German teammates Simon Kaiser and Philipp Horn, both with two penalties followed in fifth and sixth, 51.3 and 1:04 back, respectively. The IBU Cup season took another step to its conclusion with the final sprint competitions of the year. Cloudy skies, -2C, hard fast tracks with a stiff breeze twisting the wind flags in several different directions early but slowing later in the day set the stage for the morning/afternoon program.

Soerum sets the bar

Soerum set the bar for the men with the fastest prone stage, 6.1 seconds faster than the also clean Cappellari and 21 seconds faster than Botn who picked up a penalty.

Cappellari after fifth place in yesterday’s mass start 60 was the first man to go to 10-for-10 with a very quick standing stage. Soerum missed his last shot, but flew around the penalty loop, heading into the last 3.3 km loop 5 seconds behind the Italian. Botn then rebounded by shooting clean comeback and moving into second position, 1.8 seconds back.

"Out of Gas"

The prone leader went after the Italian in the last loop, getting ahead of Cappellari by the 8.7 km split. Botn went after the win, jumping into the top spot by 5.1 seconds at the same split, but falling back to second art the finish, with Cappellari in third place. Botn explained, “I skied fast out of the range and got into the lead but ran out of gas in the last uphill. When I crossed the finish and saw I was second, I was very disappointed. But now I am happy with second place.”

Women's Sprint: Top three set after prone

Kalkenberg took control of the competition immediately with a solid clean prone stage just after Johansen did the same thing. Botet got in the mix with the second fastest time splitting the Norwegian teammates.

In standing, the two Norwegians went back to 1-2, with Kalkenberg despite a penalty loop, five seconds ahead of Johansen. Kirkeeide after falling 47 seconds back after the prone stage, cleaned standing, leaving sixth. Botet vying for the Sprint Score globe slipped back to third, 20 seconds out of first after a penalty loop.

"This feels really good”

Kalkenberg pulled away on the last loop, grabbing over 20 seconds on her teammate with 500 meters to go. The Norwegian was quite pleased with win number two. “That is really nice. It has been a tough season for me, so an ending like this feels really good…I was a little nervous (in standing) but one mistake is pretty good. It was a hard day in the tracks. I am starting to get tired after all these races, but I think everyone is a little tired now.”

Botet remained steady and strong in the last loop, jumping past Johansen at the 7 km split and holding it to the finish, pushing Johansen to third place.

Photos: IBU/Harald Deubert

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