Boe and Brorsson Win IBU OECH Sprint Gold at Minsk - Raubichi
Skiing the fastest time of the day and shooting range aggressiveness brought Norwegian Tarjei Boe his first Gold medal, in the men's sprint at the IBU Open European Championships in Belarus despite one penalty. Boe's time of 21:40.6 put him 10.6 seconds ahead of Silver medalist Jesper Nelin of Sweden, shooting clean and using his 71 BMW IBU World Cup starts to his advantage. Dmitry Malyshko of Russia, also shooting clean won the Silver medal, 35,2 seconds back.
Later in the afternoon, Mona Brorsson of Sweden who showed no nerves for a mistake-free Gold win, taking the women’s 7.5K sprint in 19:37.4. Ekaterina Yurlova - Percht of Russia with one penalty won the Silver medal, 37.5 seconds back. Brorsson's teammate Hanna Oeberg with two penalties won the Bronze medal 45.6 seconds behind the winner.
Aristede Begue of France just missed the podium in fourth place35.6 seconds back. Fifth place went to Sergei Bocharnikov of Belarus, 44 seconds back. Vladimir Iliev of Bulgaria finished sixth, 45.4 seconds back. All three men shot clean.
Svetlana Mironova of Russia finished fourth in the women's sprint, with one penalty, 46.1 seconds back while clean-shooting Karoline Knotten of Norway was fifth, 48.4 seconds back. Sixth place went to Fabienne Hartweger of Austria, also closing all ten targets, 1:06.6 back.
Tarjei Attacked in the Standing Stage
Boe, approached the sprint rather unhappy with his performance in the individual where not just three misses in very windy conditions but also his relatively slow range times deprived him of the Gold medal.
“There was almost no wind today so being more aggressive was the best option. I did miss once in prone but kept my composure and ski speed until standing where I shot fast and clean. That was luckily good enough for me to win Gold and feel good about my form a bit more than two weeks before the IBU World Championships in Östersund, Sweden. A think my physical and mental shape are at a high level already. With today’s performance I wouldn’t have won at the World Cup, but the podium would not be far away.”
Tomorrow, it'll be the pursuit for the men -- but for now we'll leave you with some of the best shots of the sprint! #OECH19 😉— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) February 23, 2019
You can rewatch the competition on https://t.co/SPg3pYoKpk pic.twitter.com/y9Hy44e20I
When Shooting Is Good, Life Is Good For Nelin
Nelin approached today’s competition with rarely seen confidence, as if something has clicked. He was fast and sharp in shooting not missing a shot, 10th fastest on the shooting range and confident as usual on the skis, with the third fastest course time.
“I am really happy with today’s race. I was confident on the shooting range and when my shooting is this good, results must be also good. I am normally strong in skiing. It has so far been very good week for me and the whole Swedish team.”
Still Work To Do Says Malyshko
Bronze medalist Malyshko was satisfied with his shooting, especially in standing, but less so with his skiing form. “Still time to improve some things before the IBU World Championships,” he observed.
Malyshko shot clean but had to wait until Aristide Begue crossed finish line to be sure about his second medal. Begue just .4 seconds slower than the Russian. “It was a long wait, but worth it.”
Malyshko was also carefully following the performance of his colleagues. Russia won the men's relay competition at BMW IBU World Cup 4 in Oberhof and will be among the strongest teams in Sweden.
“Let’s hope it will not be another fourth place,” Malyshko said, projecting Russian relay’s chances few week ahead.
* Women's Sprint*
Gold for Brorsson
Brorsson showed promising form already as the second leg in Swedish mixed relay's win. She started with early number 10 today allowing herself the freedom of not knowing how her rivals were performing. No target was left standing after prone; with that invisible boost of confidence she started to accelerate on the tracks. Keeping her nerves in standing, every target closed again. After that all she could do was wait to see how Yurlova Percht and Oeberg performed.
“I am feeling for some time now that my performance level is rising,” said Brorsson whose best BMW IBU World Cup sprint result was 12th in Hochfilzen. “This was probably my best individual race of the season so far. If I was to rate my form on the scale from 0 to 10, I would say 8 at this stage.”
It's been an exciuting day of sprints in Minsk-Raubichi -- tomorrow we'll be back with the closing day and the pursuits! #OECH19 🤩— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) February 23, 2019
You can rewatch all competitions on https://t.co/SPg3pYoKpk pic.twitter.com/eu4rDTw5G4
Silver For Yurlova - Percht On Her 34th Birthday
Yurlova - Percht, just 6.2 seconds behind fastest Oeberg after prone was full of energy on her 34th birthday.
“Like the Swedish girls, I skipped the BMW IBU World Cup stops in Canada and USA and didn’t really know what shape I was in. "It is therefore very satisfying feeling to win the Silver medal today. I did miss once but managed to ski evenly on all three laps.”
Second Medal For Oeberg
Oeberg was not satisfied with her form but this was to be expected a bit more than two weeks before Östersund. Plus, knowing Brorsson did really well put some unexpected additional pressure on the Olympic Gold medalist.
“I saw Mona’s race and felt she was the one to beat. I started well but I can feel we are in the middle of shorter preparation cycle. I took more time in standing but it didn’t really help. A Bronze medal is still an okay result for me.”
Yurlova - Percht will start at the front in Sunday's pursuit, since the Swedish team previously announced that they would not compete in the pursuits but continue their training at home.
Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni