Chloe Chevalier and David Zobel Win IBU Cup Sprints
Clean-shooting Chloe Chevalier of France won women’s the sprint today at IBU Cup 7 in Otepää in 22:18.1. Later in the day, Germany’s David Zobel took the win in the men’s sprint with one penalty in 24:15.8.
Behind Chevalier, second place went to Germany’s Janina Hettich who matched Chevalier on the shooting range but finished 5.2 seconds behind. Another German Juliane Fruehwirt became third despite one penalty, 12.9 seconds back.
Fourth place went to Ingela Andersson of Sweden, 15.1 seconds behind. Ukraine’s Iana Bondar finished fifth, 17.4 back, while Karoline Offigstad Knotten of Norway was sixth, 29.9 seconds behind. All three had one penalty.
Accurate on the Range
The second competition day in Otepää started with the women and again quite challenging windy conditions on the shooting range. Despite that, Chevalier was very accurate on the range, closing target after target. With great speed on the track, she left the standing in the lead and held it until the finish line, taking the first podium of the season after some health issues.
🇫🇷C.Chevalier, 'I am very happy to finally stay on the podium because I had hard winter with some health problem since the beginning of the season. Today I am very satisfied with my work and so glad to win!'— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) March 2, 2019
First Senior Podium
After quite good results and a mixed relay Silver medal at the IBU OECH in Raubichi, Hettich also very strong today. The German was perfect in both shooting stages, leaving 13.3 seconds behind Chevalier. On the final lap she was fast, reducing the gap to her French rival with every meter, nevertheless, finishing 5.2 seconds behind. Unlike her teammate, Fruehwirt missed once in standing and left the stadium in fourth, three seconds behind Andersson. With a strong last loop, she overcame the experienced Swede, taking her first senior podium.
Matthias Dorfer of Germany was perfect on the shooting range but crossed the finish line in fourth, 15.1 seconds behind. France’s Aristide Begue missed once to finish fifth, 25.7 seconds back, while another German Danilo Riethmueller was sixth with one mistake, 34.2 seconds behind.
In the afternoon, 89 men lined up at the starting gate to battle in the final competition at IBU Cup 7. The same wind gusts that crossed the shooting range from side to side, resulted in many missed targets by the athletes. Missing once in prone, Zobel was only 11th with a 21.1 second gap from clean-shooting L’Abee-Lund, who was in the lead. In standing, the German, with the late start number 63, was accurate, leaving the stadium in first, 1.3 seconds up on his closest rival. To take his first individual senior win, Zobel gave everything on the last loop, unable to get up for a long time after crossing the finish line.
🇩🇪D.Zobel, 'I can't believe my win right now, it was an amazing race. When I crossed the finish line, first, I was extremely tired because the last loop was very hard and then I was just happy, happy, happy!' 🤗— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) March 2, 2019
Unlike his rival, L’Abee-Lund had to visit the penalty loop after standing. With two penalties, he was only fifth, 15.7 second behind Zobel. Nevertheless, being the fastest skier of the day, the Norwegian reduced this gap, overtaking other competitors. He finished second, adding another podium after yesterday’s third place in the super sprint, into his trophy case.
Starting the competition 30 seconds ahead of his more experienced teammate, Norwegian junior Dale matched Zobel with one prone penalty and was only 19th. In standing, he was more accurate, which saw him moving to third position. He kept his place until the finish line, taking his sixth individual podium in his first senior season!
Photos: IBU/Hendrik Osula