5 things we learned in Oberhof
Kaisa Makarainen can still win, Martin Fourcade won twice and got the Yellow bib back, Germany had the best week of the season in Oberhof, there were four different winners at the IBU Cup in Slovakia and Russia was most successful in the first biathlon competitions at the Youth Olympic Games.
- Never Count Out Kaisa
Even though her season did not start as well as she had hoped, the ageless Kaisa Makarainen proved that she still can be a winner. With years of experience, she waited out the wind in both standing bouts, hit 10/10 like a champion and skied away from the field for her first win in over a year. Makarainen trained hard all summer, spending more time at altitude than ever, thinking about the IBU World Championships 2020. She ended 2019 with fourth place in the Annecy Le Grand Bornand mass start, a result that she said made her happy. Now with a victory under her belt, she just might be peaking perfectly for Antholz in a month.
- Fourcade no longer takes Yellow bib for granted
Martin Fourcade was fourth in the BMW IBU World Cup Total Score before the Christmas break plus he knew JT Boe would be going on paternal leave for at least two competition weeks. JT’s absence meant Fourcade could ski at his own pace, which resulted in much improved shooting and self-confidence in his both wins in Oberhof him being back in the Yellow Bib. “I realized last season that I am beatable after all and that changed my perspective on biathlon. I am not taking the Yellow bib for granted, I am appreciating it, even if I have it for just another week,” said Fourcade.
- Germany had the best week of the season so far
Germany’s rising form aligned perfectly with back to back home competitions in Oberhof and Ruhpolding. Denise Herrmann finished second in the sprint and fifth in the mass start, moving up to fifth in the Total Score. Johannes Kuehn finished third in the men’s sprint, the men’s relay team finished third in an utterly mad competition full of twists and turns while Arnd Peiffer wrapped the week in front of an ecstatic home crowd which cheered him on to overtake Simon Desthieux in the final sprint for the second place in the mass start and his first podium of the season.
- Glazyrina and Nawrath stayed atop of the IBU Cup Total Score
Clean-shooting Ekaterina Glazyrina of Russia took the women's 12.5 km short individual on the first day of the competitions at IBU Cup 4 in Osrblie. Later in the day, another perfect shooter, Norway’s Endre Stroemsheim, won the men’s short individual. Evgeniya Pavlova of Russia went one better from her short individual performance and won the sprint, while Germany’s Philipp Nawrath, despite two penalties, was fast enough to finish first in the men’s sprint. Glazyrina and Nawrath kept their leads at the top of the IBU Cup Total Score standings.
- Russia and France started strong at the YOG
The 2020 Youth Olympic Games biathlon competitions kicked off at Les Tuffes Nordic Centre with the youth women 10 km and youth men 12.5 km individual competitions. Russia's Alena Mokhova and Oleg Domichek claimed the gold medals, coping the best with the very windy conditions. Mokhova outclassed the rest of the field out on the track despite missing twice while the fight for the gold medal was much closer in youth men competition with Domichek leaving the last standing with the same number of misses as his chaser and silver medalist Austria's Lukas Haslinger. After winning medals in their individual competitions and using just seven spares, the French duo of Jeanne Richard and Mathieu Garcia won a very exciting single mixed relay on Sunday.