First World Cup Win for Babikov in Östersund Pursuit
the 2015-16 Rookie of the Year Anton Babikov of Russia had his first-ever World Cup victory today, winning the men's pursuit in 31:22.3 with one penalty. His teammate Maxim Tsvetkov shot clean to, finish second, 10.5 seconds back. Third place went to France’s Martin Fourcade, 15.2 seconds back with four penalties.
Fourcade, in the Yellow/Red Bib started with a 42-seconds advantage, looking for his third consecutive win in Östersund. His advantage melted in the first prone, with two penalties, cutting his lead to 8 second, with Babikov and Tsvetkov chasing . In the second prone, Fourcade regained his composure cleaning with confidence, but the two Russians remained within 6 seconds.
In the first standing, Fourcade and Tsvetkov cleaned, while Babikov missed the last shot. He recovered, however, outskiing his teammate to remain in second position.
Babikov Breaks Through
Things turned around in the last standing, as Fourcade had two penalties and the Russians both cleaned. the 25-year-old Babikov took the lead and the victory. Fourcade tried to close the gap on Tsvetkov for the second, but the Russian pulled away to finish second..
Babikov was very happy about his win.
“From the very beginning, I knew that everything could be possible. We were going very close. Before going to Östersund, I was a little worried, it’s always curious to see how well you are prepared for the season.”
Tsvetkov concentrated on his shooting.
“During the first loop, we were very close, and I understood that shooting would be decisive. This is my first medal in Pursuit. It was very tough for me, I knew that Martin was very close, I knew that I have to work hard till the end.”
Fourcade admitted that he had some trouble. “I had my chance today, and I didn’t take it. At my last shoot I was a bit nervous, there was also some wind. My skis were also not perfect at the end of race.”