Germany wins IBU Cup single mixed relay
Team Germany with Stefanie Scherer and Lucas Fratzscher won the single mixed relay at IBU Cup 3 in Obertilliach, using 10 spare rounds and finishing in 44:31.4. Russia with Anastasiia Porshneva and Alexandr Povarnitsyn followed in second, 8.6 seconds back despite a penalty loop and 13 spares. Norway with Karoline Erdal and Sindre Fjellheim Jorde finished third with one penalty and 9 spare rounds, 43.2 seconds behind.
Ukraine finished fourth, Austria fifth and Belgium took sixth place.
Snow in sight
The final IBU Cup competition day in 2019 surprised everyone with heavy snowfall that changed from the rain of the previous days. Twenty-nine squads lined up at a freshly white-covered track to battle for the podium in the team competition. Starting the relay with a strong skiing and good shooting, Swede’s Johanna Skottheim was leading the pack at the first exchange with Austria and Norway following within 5 seconds. Her teammate Malte Stefansson kept the top position and tapped Skottheim in second, while Norway moved to the first.
The third leg saw the changes in the standings. Germany, Norway and Russia left the stadium within 5.4 seconds, while Sweden dropped to the seventh place with 4 penalty loops. At the prone shooting, Skottheim had problems with the snow that stuck in the sight, which led her to mistakes.
Saw the gap
After the last prone, Povarnitsyn took a 13.0-second lead over Fratzscher, while Jorde was 27.7 seconds behind. Coming to the final shooting stage first, the Russian was unable to take advantage of his leading position. He had to use all three spares, while the German used only two and he left 4.4 seconds ahead. By the finish line, Fratzscherincreased his advantage, crossing the line in first and Russia followed in second. Despite a penalty after the fourth prone, Jorde managed to keep the third place, taking the last podium spot for his team.
🇩🇪L.Fratzscher, "After the final standing, Povarnistyn was too close to be sure that I would win, so I was a little bit nervous. But at the last uphill, I knew that I had a lot of energy, I saw the gap was big enough and understood we would keep the win!"— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) December 21, 2019
📸: Evgeny Tumashov pic.twitter.com/Tn20wRijTz
Later in the day, the mixed relay had to close the competition program in Obertilliach, but a few minutes after the start, it has to be stopped due to the electricity issues in the village. The jury decided to cancel the competition for today, while the IBU will check if the mixed relay will be dropped completely or rescheduled at another IBU Cup later in the season.
The IBU Cup RD Kristjan Oja commented on the mixed relay cancellation: “During the 1st lap, the power went off at the stadium and in the village, so by the jury decision, it was decided to cancel the competition. We'll check the possibility to conduct it later in the season.” pic.twitter.com/oSfhYrsCJV— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) December 21, 2019
Photos: Evgeny Tumashov