Elisabeth Hoegberg and Sivert Guttorm Bakken win IBU Cup sprints
Clean-shooting Elisabeth Hoegberg of Sweden won the women sprint at IBU Cup 8 in Raubichi, finishing in 21:42.7. In the afternoon, Norway’s Sivert Guttorm Bakken took the win in the men sprint despite a penalty in 27:56.2.
Vanessa Voigt of Germany was also perfect on the range, but finished fourth, 33.8 seconds behind. Her teammate Maren Hammerschmidt missed once to finish fifth, 44.6 seconds back. France’s Caroline Colombo also had one penalty and was sixth, 45.9 seconds behind.
Final IBU Cup
The first day at the final IBU Cup kicked off with the women's sprint. Entering the competition with bib 18, the main goal for the New Women's IBU Cup Total Score leader Hoegberg, was not only to keep her top spot, but also to increase the gap to second . The Swede perfectly coped with the task by shooting clean and running fast. She securely crossed the finish line in first; with two competitions to go, Hoegberg now has a 38-point advantage over Ekaterina Glazyrina of Russia, who today finished 12th.
🇸🇪E.Hoegberg, "Before the #OECH20 I didn't think that I could get a chance to take the lead in the total score. Now I'm on top of the standing and for sure I was thinking about it before the start. But we still have 2 competitions, so we will see how it goes"— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) March 4, 2020
📸: Evgeny Tumashov pic.twitter.com/P1OFfiLE4e
Starting the sprint with perfect shooting, early number 11 Scherer left the prone in first position, 3.4 seconds ahead of Hoegberg. However, on the second loop the German was slower than the Swede, which saw her dropping to second after the standing stage. Giving her all on the final loop, Scherer could not reduce the gap on Hoegberg and finished second.
Young Skrede, who recently took three medals at the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Lenzerheide and a medal at the IBU Open European Championships last week, today added her first senior individual podium to her resume. The Norwegian was not only accurate on the shooting range, but fast enough on the track to finish ahead of her more experienced rivals to take third place.
Behind Bakken, second place went to the local favourite Maksim Varabei with one penalty, 5.2 seconds back. Another Norwegian Endre Stroemsheim finished third also with one mistake, 34.5 seconds behind.
Martin Perrillat Bottonet of France became fourth with on penalty, 43.6 seconds back. Fifth place surprisingly went to clean-shooting Pavel Magazeev of Moldova, 44.4 seconds behind, while Sindre Pettersen finished sixth despite three penalties, 1:07.0 back.
Reduced the gap
Taking the lead after the clean prone shooting, Bakken did not give away his first place even despite a miss at the standing stage. Having an early bib #2, which became an advantage in today’s competition, he left the stadium with a 3.8-second advantage over Varabei and kept it until the finish, taking the first win of the season.
🇳🇴S.G.Bakken, "I had 20th place in the last sprint here, so today I'm very satisfied with my win. I started pretty early, so I hoped it would be an advantage and that paid off in the end."— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) March 4, 2020
📸: Evgeny Tumashov pic.twitter.com/Iks6dXVMrY
Varabei matched the Norwegian with one standing penalty and showed great speed on the track, being almost on a second faster than Bakken. However, slower work on the shooting range allowed him to take just the second place. As his rivals, Stroemsheim also had a penalty loop after the second shooting. Leaving the stadium in third for the final lap, he gave his all to keep this position. Good result in today’s sprint allowed Stroemsheim to reduce the 20-point gap in the total score from the current leader, Lucas Fratzscher of Germany, just to 3 points.
Photos: Evgeny Tumashov