Anna Weidel and Endre Stroemsheim Take IBU Cup Super Sprints
Anna Weidel of Germany used just one spare on her way to a win in the women’s super sprint, finishing in 14:35.3. Later in the day, despite two penalties and two spare rounds, Norway’s Endre Stroemsheim finished first in the men’s super sprint in 13:13.2.
The women’s super sprint qualification, held under the strong gusting winds, snow, and temperature around -7C, opened the competition program at IBU Cup 7 in Otepää. In the qualifying rounds, Thekla Brun-Lie of Norway used two spares to finish first in 8:57.9. Matching Brun-Lie on the shooting range, Germany’s Luise Kummer followed 1.9 seconds behind, while Ingela Andersson finished third with one spare round, 2.7 seconds back.
In the men’s qualification, with the gusty winds continuing, Norway’s Aleksander Fjeld Andersen used a single spare, finishing first in 7:37.9. Gabriel Stegmayr also took one spare and was second, 2.2 seconds back, while Russia’s Igor Malinovskii was third, 2.3 seconds behind.
Women’s Super Sprint
Behind Weidel, second place went to Austria’s Dunja Zdouc with one penalty and three spares, 31.9 seconds behind. Brun-Lie went for two penalty loops and used three spare rounds to take the last podium spot, 45.1 seconds back.
Fourth place went to the local favorite Johanna Talihaerm, 47.1 seconds behind. The winner of the first super sprint in Obertilliach, Felicia Lindqvist of Sweden, today finished fifth, 50.2 seconds back, while Weidel’s teammate Kummer crossed the finish line in sixth, 56.0 seconds behind.
First on Track
In the afternoon, the 30 best women and men from the qualification battled for the podium places in the super sprint finals. The women were first to get on track with Kummer taking a lead after the first shooting. In the second prone, Brun-Lie moved to the leading position with Weidel a second behind and Kummer in third.
🇩🇪A.Weidel, 'It was a hard day; we started pretty early in the morning and it took a while until the second start but it was fun. I really like this competition format and I am very happy to win!'— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) March 1, 2019
While her rivals were making mistakes, Weidel continued to shoot perfectly, leaving the stadium after the third stage with 18.9-seconds advantage on the second place. Brun-Lie and Zdouc stayed 22 seconds behind with a penalty loop each. In the final standing, the German was incredibly fast. She cleaned the targets, securing her the win and taking her first podium of the season. With strong wind gusts crossing the shooting range, Zdouc used one spare, leaving in second, while Brun-Lie had to visit the penalty loop once again but still holding third place. They finished in the same order, also taking their first IBU Cup podiums of the season.
Men’s Super Sprint
In the men’s competition, Italy’s Daniele Cappellari, third in the previous super sprint in Obertilliach, went for one penalty loop and used two spares to finish second in Otepää, 13.8 seconds behind. Norway’s Henrik L’Abee-Lund also had one penalty but used three spares, finishing third, 24.6 seconds back.
With Lucas Fratzscher leading after the first prone and 15 athletes staying within 8 seconds, the battle for the podium in the men’s competition was very intense. The second stage, where Ukraine’s Vitaliy Trush left in first, saw nine athletes leaving within 9 seconds and L’Abee-Lund following them in 2 more seconds behind.
The third shooting bout saw some changes in the standings with many of the competitors went to the penalty loop. Now Russia’s Sergey Korastylev took the lead, while Cappellari followed 3.7 seconds behind; L’Abee-Lund and Stroemsheim left in fourth and fifth place. As usual, the final standing became decisive and changed the top 3. Unlike the third shooting, where Stroemsheim had two penalties, now the Norwegian was fast and clean. He left the stadium 4 seconds ahead of Cappellari, not just keeping the lead until the finish line but also increasing it to almost 14 seconds. L’Abee-Lund, who left in third with 2 seconds advantage on Korastylev, was strong on the final lap, holding on to the last podium spot.
🇳🇴E.Stroemsheim, 'It was very windy today, especially in the qualification race. I had big problems, but after my coach's comments, I knew what to do in the final and I am really happy because it is my first IBU Cup win.'— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) March 1, 2019
Photos: IBU/Hendrik Osula