First Victory for Lisa Theresa Hauser in Antholz 15 km Individual

First Victory for Lisa Theresa Hauser in Antholz 15 km Individual

Austria’s Lisa Theresa Hauser, after three podiums, her first-ever in Oberhof stormed home today with her first-ever BMW IBU World Cup victory, taking the Antholz women’s 15 km individual with a single penalty in 42:29.3. Ukraine’s Yulia Dzhima, the only women to shoot clean finished second, 43.7 seconds back. Anais Chevalier-Bouchet, with one penalty finished third 1:04 back.

Tear-filled “Dream Come True”

Hauser’s eyes were filled with tears as she explained the enormity of her first-ever victory. “Somehow, I am crying a little bit because of happiness. I do not know what to say. It’s just unbelievable. You know you train the whole summer long to achieve a goal and the goal is to somehow win a World Cup for the first time and today it happened. I am a little bit speechless; it is history and everything. It is a really big achievement today and a dream come true.”

Italy’s Dorothea Wierer, with two penalties finished fourth, 1:15.1 back. Germany’s Janina Hettich with a single penalty finished in a career best fifth place, 1:23.9 back, while Russia's Evgeniya Pavlova, with two penalties finished sixth, 1:49.1 back.

Light Snowfall in Usually Sunny Antholz

After two beautiful typical sunny Antholz training days, clouds and increasing snowfall filled the skies with the temperature just below freezing on a virtually windless afternoon. The Yellow Bib, staring early with bib number 8 set the bar for her rivals with a steady clean first prone stage, but faded after that with four penalties on the day. Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold shot almost 20 seconds slower than her teammate but cleaned. Hauser and Chevalier-Bouchet both cleaned faster than the Yellow Bib with the Austrian moving into the top spot by 7 seconds.

First Victory for Lisa Theresa Hauser in Antholz 15 km Individual

Hauser’s 10 Second Lead

Tandrevold went 5-for-five to take the lead by seven seconds in the first standing stage. Hettich continued her recent good shooting by cleaning the second stage for the lead. Chevalier-Bouchet picked up the pace and the lead with her own clean standing stage. However, she was no match for Hauser who did the same but left 10 seconds up on the field. Dzhima also cleaned but lagged 46 seconds back in eighth. Wierer after a prone penalty got back in the conversation with a clean first standing.

First Victory for Lisa Theresa Hauser in Antholz 15 km Individual

Chevalier-Bouchet Moves Ahead

 Pavlova went to 15-for-15 in the second prone while Tandrevold continued her perfect day with five steady shots to move 31 seconds up on the field. Hettich was better than both to move atop the leaderboard momentarily. Chevalier-Bouchet continued her impressive performance with a third clean stage to take the undisputed lead after Hauser missed once. Wierer’s second consecutive clean stage moved her into the third spot, 10 seconds behind Hettich.

Hauser Seals the Victory

Tandrevold ended her day with three penalties in the last standing, while Hettich came to the last standing stage with potentially her first podium on the line. She hit the first four shots but missed the last one. Chevalier-Bouchet missed her first shot in the last standing stage, while Hauser cleaned to move back into the top spot with 3 km to go. Dzhima, shooting just before Hauser closed all five of her targets to become the only woman with perfect shooting. That was enough to move her into second position. Braisaz-Bouchet missed four times ending her chances for a top spot.

First Victory for Lisa Theresa Hauser in Antholz 15 km Individual

Hauser was extremely powerful on the last loop, stretching her lead over the Ukrainian to 43.7 seconds by the finish, while Chevalier-Bouchet held on for third, 20.3 seconds farther back.

First Victory for Lisa Theresa Hauser in Antholz 15 km Individual

Shooting Focus

Dzhima, with Her 20-for-20, said her only focus was on shooting “I concentrated on the shooting range because I did not feel so good before the start, so them my option was to focus on the shooting range.” She has been rounding into shape recently; she explained the reason behind that. “I did not start training until August so maybe that is good for me or even start later.”

Regaining Confidence

Chevalier-Bouchet had to overcome her rifle problems from Oberhof when she had ten penalties and regain her confidence on the range. “I had a rifle problem in the mass start; my diopter was broken. We fixed that I had to forget that to be confident today on the shooting range,. It was a big challenge to be confident. It was really difficult; I had to forget that and think only about my shooting and not my material. I only focused on shooting well because I was not very good on the skis.”

Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni