Fourcade Unchallenged in Ruhpolding Sprint
Clean-shooting Martin Fourcade of France was unchallenged in today's Ruhpolding sprint, covering the 10K course in 22:34.2. Austria's Julian Eberhard also shot clean to finish second, 18 seconds back. Norway's Emil Hegle Svendsen also shooting clean finished third, 39.7 seconds back.
Clean-shooting Arnd Peiffer of Germany had the best result among the German men today, finishing fourth, 51.8 seconds back. His teammate Simon Schempp, with one penalty, was fifth 52.8 seconds back. Russia’s Dmitry Malyshko shot clean to finish sixth, 56.2 seconds back.
Good Start for Norway
107 men battled for the podium in Men’s 10K Sprint today in the sold-out Chiemgau Arena. The wind flags waved back and forth with a slight breeze; light snow fell during the last part of the competition.
The day started well for Norway, as Lars Helge Birkeland cleaned prone to get an early lead; his teammates Ole Einar Bjoerndalen and Emil Hegle Svendsen, starting with bibs number 13 and 25, matched him in prone and took first and third position coming out of prone.
Bjoerndalen, however, picked up a penalty in standing; Birkeland lacked enough ski speed to get to the podium. Instead it was Svendsen in third who managed to take a podium spot. He commented, “I really want to win, but the guys sitting next to me want to win as well. I cannot focus too much on Martin, I have to focus on myself. If you worry too much about the others, you are on the wrong track.”
10 out of 10 for Eberhard
Eberhard, starting under number 27, flawless in both stages, set the time to beat. As he was celebrating his potential victory or a podium spot at the finish line, Fourcade approached the prone. He mowed down all targets in both stages, leaving the standing with a 13-second lead and only extending it in the final loop.
Fourcade said, “During my training I was watching the screen, and I saw that Julian and Emil Hegle were shooting clean, and I wanted to match them.”