IBU OECH Pursuit Gold to Yurlova - Percht And Boe
Tarjei Boe of Norway used his pole position advantage from yesterday’s sprint, turning his 35.2 second advantage into a second IBU OECH Gold Medal in the men's 12.5K pursuit. His 31:10.3, with a single penalty put him 28.5 seconds ahead of Russia's Matvey Eliseev, who attacked from 11th at the start and missed only once to win the Silver medal. Boe’s teammate Haavard Gutuboe Bogetveit, also with one penalty won the Bronze medal,54.2 seconds behind Boe.
A few hours later, Ekaterina Yurlova - Percht of Russia used her experience and a single penalty as Boe did to control the women's 10K pursuit from start to finish, winning her first IBU Open European Championships Gold medal in 27:43.4. Much like Eliseev in the men’s filed Iryna Kryuko of Belarus attacked from 11th at the start picking up a single penalty to win the Silver medal, 37.5 seconds back. Germany's Nadine Horchler showed great resilience, after a first standing stage penalty to win the Bronze medal, 49.4 seconds back.
Fourth in the men's competition went to local hero Belarusian Sergei Bocharnikov, with two penalties, 1:04.1 back. Andrejs Rastorgujevs of Latvia, finished fifth, with three penalties, 1:13.2 back while sprint Bronze medalist Dmitry Malyshko of Russia finished sixth, with two penalties, 1:17.2 back.
Austria's Dunja Zdouc, with one penalty finished fourth, 50.8 seconds back. Karoline Knotten of Norway, with two penalties finished fifth, 55.9 seconds. Russia's Evgeniya Pavlova shot clean in sixth place, 57 seconds back.
Men 's Pursuit
Boe Doubles Down In Pursuit
Tarjei Boe approached today’s race with a clear plan to keep his pursuers at bay while the managing course conditions and his own nerves as perfectly as possible. He could then take those good feelings to the IBU World Championships next month. That plan was not as easy as it sounded according to the IBU OECH double gold medalist.
“The flat parts of this course are not easy to conquer when you are on your own. It was also windy on those parts; it helps when you are in the group. But staying away from the group was crucial today. I was aware Malyshko was shooting as well as I did until the second standing so I didn’t have much room for mistakes either. That is why I feel I performed really well, missing just once.”
Boe who left these Championships with one Silver and two Gold medals was satisfied with his competition tests. “It wasn’t just about testing my form good two weeks before Östersund. The conditions changed every day. It was super windy in the individual, icy in the sprint and it felt like F1 race and quite wet and windy again today. I will rejoin my World Cup teammates in few days to prepare for the beginning of the competitions in Östersund.”
Catching Malyshko Was Crucial For Eliseev
Despite two penalties in the sprint, Eliseev started less than a minute behind Boe. He missed in the second prone; his week spot this season so far, but was very fast on the skis. “Especially in the downhill I felt great.” said Eliseev who will be looking for some maximum speed training before going to Sweden. “It was my plan to catch Malyshko before the last shooting and then get really aggressive. It worked perfectly well.”
Considering just the pursuit, Eliseev was the fastest athlete of the day.
Measuring Up With the Best
Bogetveit, a seasoned IBU Cup competitor started in 10th position and missed at the first standing. He then skied a very subdued lap feeling tired. “I actually felt I have no energy left. Clearing all five targets at the last shooting gave me energy I didn’t know I possessed today. I also saw Malyshko missing twice and Bocharnikov slowing down. I attacked and finished in Bronze. I am really happy.”
Women 10 km Pursuit
Not An Easy Win
Yurlova - Percht started in front, looking for a steady shooting.. She skied with Svetlana Mironova of Russia and Knotten of in the first three loops. Shooting clean also in the first standing brought her solitude on the tracks.
“It really wasn’t easy to be on my own, knowing I am leading the race and that Gold medal might be within my reach. “I worked hard on the tracks and focused at the last shooting not to squander the lead. It seems my standing shooting form is coming back, I missed just once and it proved to be enough for Gold medal, my first-ever gold at the IBU Open European Championships.”
“I lost a lot of points not attending BMW IBU World Cups 7 and 8 but it was worth it,” added Yurlova - Percht.
Kryuko Attacked From Behind
Still not fully recovered Kryuko did everything in her power to make up for the time she lost in yesterday’s sprint, attacking from the start. She came closer and closer to the very top but a miss in the first prone and Yurlova - Percht’s performance proved to be too much for the Belarusian to win the Gold medal.
“I felt better and better as the race progressed. Considering I still don’t feel 100% percent fit and will probably need more rest it is a very good achievement. We still have enough time to get back in top form before Oestersund.”
Horchler Finally Happy
After the sprint, Horchler felt her skis and her own performance were not as good as they could have been. She did not give up on her medal quest despite finding herself in 13th after missing at first standing stage. “After I cleared all five targets at the last shooting I just started to overtake girl after girl. Coming close to the finish line I noticed there were only two girls standing in the finish area and then in dawned on me I was in for the Bronze medal!,” explained the mixed relay Silver medalist. “After finishing fourth in the individual, this medal makes up for that mild disappointment. Two medals is great.”
Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni