Hanna Oeberg Thrills with Oslo Mass Start Victory
Sweden’s Hanna Oeberg thrilled the crowd at Holmenkollen Ski Stadium this afternoon holding off Norway's Tiril Eckhoff to win the season-ending women’s mass start in 35:56.2, just 1.3 seconds ahead of the Norwegian. Oeberg had two penalties, including one in the last standing stage to Eckhoff’s three miscues. Clare Egan of the USA finished with a career-best, first-ever podium in third place, with one penalty, 10.4 seconds back
BMW IBU World Cup Oslo Holmenkollen Women's Mass Start
Mass Start Globe to Oeberg
Oeberg’s win was the third of her career, her first outside of a major Championship. Her first and second wins were the Olympic and IBU World Championship 15K Individual titles. She also won the first small Crystal Globe of her career for the World Cup Mass Start Score.
The 23-year-old who finished 5th in the World Cup Total Score commented on her day. “It was a great race for me. I felt really confident on the prone shooting…so I could relax a little in skiing. I never had to go on the hunt; I think that was perfect… It was really hard in the last shooting with some wind. With one mistake I still managed pretty well. I had Tiril hunting me on the last loop; when she did not catch any seconds in the first part, I felt pretty confident that I would be first over the finish line.”
Doro Takes World Cup Total Score
Despite finishing 12th, Italy’s Dorothea Wierer won big Crystal Globe for the World Cup Total Score with 904 points. Her win was Italy’s first-ever Total Score title. Teammate Lisa Vittozzi finished second with 882 points.
Rookie Award to Evgeniya Pavlova
Russia’s Evgeniya Pavlova won the IBU Women’s Rookie of the Year award. She finished 33rd in the World Cup Total Score in her first BMW IBU World Cup season.
Fast closing Denise Herrmann of Germany, with four penalties, was fourth, 21.6 seconds back. Austria’s Lisa Theresa Hauser equaled her career best in fifth place, with two penalties, 48.7 seconds back. Paulina Fialkova of Slovakia finished sixth, with four penalties, 54.2 seconds back.
Cloudy, Wierer Leads
It was simply cloudy skies, +5C and about the same moderate, but at times stronger wind conditions as all week for the final women’s competition of the 2018-19 season that would decide the World Cup Total Score winner. With two consecutive victories under her belt, Kuzmina immediately took the lead as the 30 women left the stadium, closely followed by Herrmann. Oeberg and Wierer cleaned simultaneously, leading a pack of 13 also perfect in the first prone, following in 18 seconds. Midway through the second loop, Eckhoff took over the pace, heading into the second prone.
Oeberg cleaned the second prone stage, along with Fialkova and the Norwegian. They left the stadium 22 seconds up on the next group that included Preuss, Tandrevold and Clare Egan. These six remained as the only clean shooters. The leading trio stretched their lead by a few seconds by the time they reached the split near the Holmenkollen Chapel.
The Swedish World and Olympic Champion set the pace and set up for the first standing on lane one. Oeberg and the Slovak missed once while the Eckhoff had two. Still, Oeberg came off the loop in the lead with Fialkova on her shoulder. Egan, now the only woman with three zeroes moved up to third, but 10 seconds behind the leaders. Eckhoff and Herrmann were next 22 and 24 seconds back but closed the gap down to a dozen behind by the time they returned to the stadium.
Penalty, but the Lead for Oeberg
With the wind picking up significantly; they all shot slowly. Oeberg picked up a penalty as did Eckhoff, with the Swedish star 10 seconds up on her Norwegian rival and Egan another seven seconds back. The dangerously fast German trailed 17 seconds behind the US biathlete.
Both Fialkova and @hannaaaoberg miss once so their fight for the Mass Start Globe continues! @BiathleteEgan moves up into 3rd place! #HOL19— IBU World Cup (@IBU_WC) March 24, 2019
Watch the women's mass start on https://t.co/bk5aBBso9Q pic.twitter.com/0UId84lqWk
Eckhoff Challenges; Oeberg Takes the Win
Oeberg was incomplete control for most of the last 2.5K loop as her teammates cheered along the tracks, “Hanna…Hanna!” Eckhoff and Egan battled back and forth until Eckhoff took hold of second with 700 meters to go. The Norwegian then charged hard in the loop behind the shooting range, trying desperately to catch the leader, but to no avail. Oeberg raised her hands in victory with Eckhoff and Egan completing the podium.