Endre Stroemsheim and Elisabeth Hoegberg win IBU Cup pursuits
Endre Stroemsheim of Norway took a confident win in the men's pursuit at IBU Cup 5 in Osrblie with two penalties, finishing in 31:39.9. Later in the day, Elisabeth Hoegberg of Sweden finished first in the women pursuit with a single penalty in 28:35.5.
Fourth place went to Stroemsheim’s teammate Sindre Fjellheim Jorde with three penalties, 1:12.0 back. Viktar Kryuko of Belarus was fifth with one penalty, 1:13.3 behind. Another Russian Vasilii Tomshin finished sixth with one penalties, 1:17.3 back.
Starting the competition with bib 3 and one prone penalty, at the second shooting Stroemsheim was more accurate, which saw him topping the standings. The Norwegian left the stadium with a 28.9-second lead, increasing it to 43 seconds after the third clean stage. This was more than enough to cover a penalty loop, which he had after the final standing and still leaving in first. With a confident advantage, Stroemsheim kept the top place, taking his third win and fourth podium in Osrblie.
🇳🇴E.Stroemsheim, "After the third shooting, I felt pretty confident that I was going to win because I had a big gap and my shooting was quite good. I feel happy now with my best week ever, I had three wins and one more podium here, so it's just great!"— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) January 18, 2020
📸: Bjoern Reichert pic.twitter.com/O5Ibr0LqnT
While the fate of the winner was decided after the second shooting, the battle for the last two spots was until the last stage. Start number 6 Tkalenko kept fourth position with one standing penalty until the final shooting. While the rivals were making mistakes, the Ukrainian took advantage of that. He cleaned all targets, showing one of his best shooting results, and left a minute behind the Norwegian, keeping the place until the finish line.
No clean shooting
Bib 7 Streltsov was cleaning the stage after stage, climbing in the standings up to second position after the first standing. Coming to the final standing with an advantage over his rivals, he did not manage to shoot accurately again, leaving two black targets. However his rivals also were not perfect, the Russian was fast enough to cover the penalties and leave the stadium in third. He kept his position until the finish, taking his second podium in Osrblie.
The winner of the women sprint, Norway’s Karoline Erdal finished fourth with three penalties, 30.7 seconds back. Bib 2 Victoria Slivko of Russia finished fifth with a single penalty, 35.1 seconds behind, while Ukraine’s Nadiia Bielkina was sixth with one mistake, 51.7 seconds back.
Hoegberg started the pursuit with number 10;one penalty in th efirst prone stage was her only mistake of the day. With perfect shooting in the next three stages, she moved up to the first place after the final standing. The Swede left the stadium with a 22.2-second lead, which she easily kept until the finish line.
🇸🇪E.Hoegberg, "I felt good on the shooting range today. I've been struggling with the prone stages, so it's nice that I had just one penalty. On the last loop, I could go a little easier and just enjoy crossing the finish line first."— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) January 18, 2020
📸: Bjoern Reichert pic.twitter.com/yTvrWi1Os0
Another good comeback came from Porshneva, who entered the competition with bib 12 and a 50-second gap to the leader. The Russian collected one penalty in the second prone, adding one more in the last standing. Being the second fastest skier today behind Hoegberg, Porshneva covered the extra 300 meters very fast, leaving for the final loop in second and taking another podium of the season.
Unlike Porshneva, start number 7 Hildebrand was more accurate on the range but slower on the track. After the first standing, the experienced German was leading with perfect shooting; however, one penalty at the final standing saw her dropping to the third. Without any rivals being close enough, she kept the position until the finish.
Photo: Bjoern Reichert