Tilda Johansson wins IBU Cup Total Score
Sweden’s Tilda Johansson, after shooting clean in the two prone stages, added three penalties in standing, finishing ninth, 1:42.6 back. That ninth place gave her the IBU Cup Total Score title and the big Crystal Globe with 844 points, just two points better than second place Guigonnat. Johansson was overcome with emotions and almost speechless after winning despite not being on the podium since she won the Obertilliach sprint on February 2. “I am just so happy. I came to the race today not so nervous, but knowing that I would do my best and that was all I could do. After I got Covid-19 several weeks ago, I lost all hope that I still might win. I actually did not know if I could race here, but I was able to and now I have won…so happy.”
Johansen’s teammate and sprint winner Emilie Aagheim Kalkenberg with a single penalty in the last standing stage, finished second in the women’s competition, with four penalties on the day, 12.3 seconds back. Sweden’s Ella Halvarsson, shotclean, finishing with her first career IBU Cup podium in third place, 20.2 seconds back.
Italy’s Michela Carrara, with five penalties, finished fourth, 37.2 seconds back. Fifth place and sixth places went to French teammates Paula Botet and Guigonnat, with three and four penalties, 39.4 and 58.7 seconds back, respectively.
Johansen Takes Pursuit Score
Johansen also claimed the IBU Cup Pursuit Score crystal globe, with 209 points to France’s Gilonne Guigonnat’s 201 points. Johansen commented on the last standing and winning the small crystal globe. “I came to the last standing number three. I knew ZI had to just try to do my best to take all the targets and I did it. The last loop was really hard with Emilie behind me. I knew I had to go hard all the way. I had not idea that I might win the globe. It was a big surprise.”
Botn’s teammate Vebjoern Soerum, with four penalties, finished second, 1:07 back. Germany’s Lucas Fratzscher, with one penalty finished third, 1:17.8 back. Norway’s Martin Uldal, with three penalties, finished fourth, 1:28.3 back. Italy’s Daniele Cappellari, with two penalties, finished fifth, 2:00.4 back, while Germany’s Simon Kaiser, with five penalties finished sixth, 2:26 back.
Uldal wins IBU Cup Men’s Pursuit Score
Uldal, jumped from 15th at the start to fourth to take the IBU Cup Pursuit Score crystal globe after winning the IBU Cup Mass Start Score globe three days ago. “I am very happy with the second globe. I knew I had a good chance. I did a good race to get it…I had a really bad first shooting (two penalties); I was far behind, but I was in really good shape today and the next shootings were good so I climbed a lot.”
Gray skies, -3C and stiff breeze on the range set the stage for the final individual competitions of the 2022/23 IBU Cup season. Kalkenberg led into the first prone stage but missed one shot, allowing clean-shooting Botet to leave the first prone stage, just 6.5 seconds back with clean-shooting Swedes Johanna Skottheim and Johansson third and fourth. The two leaders came to the second prone stage together. Kalkenberg cleaned the second prone; Botet picked up two penalties, falling back and out of contention for the win. Skottheim and Johansson both went to 10-for-10, moving into second and third.
The leader missed two shots in the first standing, opening the door for the fast-shooting Skottheim who cleaned to take a 24-second advantage over Kalkenberg and Johansen in second and third. The Swede and her Kalkenberg came to the last standing together. Kalkenberg missed once, Skottheim twice while Johansen cleaned, for the win over Kalkenberg with Halvarsson third.
By the time the men started, light snow was falling, with the wind buffeting the range at times. Botn and Soerum came to the first prone stage together; Botn cleaned taking the lead with Cappellari also clean going out second. Soerum followed 44 seconds back after two penalty loops. Botn and his Cappellari both missed a shot in the second prone stage but remained 1-2.
Botn blew through the first standing stage, closing the five targets easily, extending his lead to 1:09 over Cappellari and 1:16 over Fratzscher, both with a single penalty. The Norwegian leader shot just as aggressively and fast in the last standing as in the previous stage with the same result, sealing the victory. Soerum also cleaned moving back to second with Fratzscher going out third, 9 seconds in front of Uldal.
"Best shape of my life”
Botn who missed the middle of the IBU Cup season due to Covid-19 felt strong on the tracks and confident in the range in his dominating win today. “Actually, I do not feel tired after five race days here. I feel like I am in the best shape of my life… It is really easy when you have such a big lead going into the standing especially the last one when you can be defensive and make mistakes. I was really focused so I was really happy when I saw all the five targets were down.”
Regarding his strong finish in Canmore, with a win and two other podiums, Botn added, “After getting Covid and struggling in the Norwegian Cup, I did not expect to finish the way I did. It has been an amazing week. I am really happy.”
Photos: IBU/ Harald Deubert