Home Team Heroine Hanna Oeberg Wins 15 km Individual Gold Medal
Sweden’s hometown heroine Hanna Oeberg won her first-ever IBU World Championship Gold medal this afternoon, shooting clean to claim the second major title of her young career in 43:10.4. The IBU World Championship is the second major title for the 23-year-old Oeberg who won the Gold medal in the same competition at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. Italy’s Lisa Vittozzi won her first-ever individual IBU WCH medal taking Silver today, also shooting clean, but 32.6 seconds back. Late starter Justine Braisaz of France, with one penalty, won the Bronze medal, also her first individual IBU WCH medal, 32.5 seconds back.
Oeberg was almost overwhelmed by the magnitude of winning today in her home stadium. “This is unbelievable. It is so big for me. I am so proud of what I did today. I was so focused. I was so happy do go complete today. Sometimes it was a tough on the last loop, but I tried to enjoy it. It is unbelievable to make this at home.”
*“Proud of Myself” *
On winning back-to-back major title in the 15K individual, a feat no other woman has done before, she added, “Last year was even for me a bit of a surprise; it was a lot of emotions then. This is on another level. Today I knew what I was able to do. Then to be able to pull it off here in front of the home, my family…I am really proud of myself that I did it.”
Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier, with one penalty finished fourth, 39.5 seconds back. Fifth place went to Slovakia’s Paulina Fialkova who led for much of the afternoon, with one penalty, 45.5 seconds back. Oeberg’s teammate Mona Brorsson, also with one penalty, finished fifth, 498.9 seconds back.
First Stage: Good Shooting
Cloudy, overcast skies, temperature at -4C and again moderately strong on the shooting range set the stage for this late afternoon long distance trek on Östersund’s challenging tracks. Number 4 Fialkova led the parade of more than 40 women who cleaned the first prone initially. Dahlmeier continued her good shooting with a clean stage, but was 17 seconds off the lead. The hometown girl Oeberg moved into contention with a strong first loop; clean shooting putting her less than two seconds off the lead. Dorothea Wierer starting late in the first group reminded everyone that she was still a factor, taking the prone lead with a very fast stage. Vittozzi matched a few minutes later, but was 12 seconds back. Number 71 Braisaz started her day by cleaning the first stage.
Braisaz in Front
Fialkova continued her strong performance dropping five more targets in the standing stage. Dahlmeier cleaned again slowly but remained a spot behind the Slovak. Then it was Oeberg’s turn; she blew through the five targets, taking the lead for the first time. Wierer missed two shots to drop form the lead. However her teammate Vittozzi stayed the course to the top with clean stage number two, moving into fourth position. Braisaz was again perfect to move ahead of Oeberg after two stages.
Fialkova and Oeberg
The Slovak continued her podium bid by becoming the first to go 15-for-15. The second prone proved to be Dahlmeier’s undoing when she missed a single shot. The Olympic 15K Champion however did not miss, but left 12 seconds behind Fialkova heading to the deciding last standing stage. Vittozzi added five more closed targets to move up to the third spot. Braisaz fell back a bit with one missed shot, but was still in contention.
Oeberg Perfect; Crowd Goes Wild
The perfect day for Fialkova ended with a single miss in the last standing stage. Dahlmeier got back in the mix with a final five perfect shots, putting her just a second behind Fialkova. The crowd then went wild 2 minutes later when Oeberg made it 20-for-20 putting her in front by 49 seconds of the field. The Yellow Bib became the fourth woman to go 20-for-20 to move into second position, 20 seconds behind the hometown favorite. Braisaz, after missing a shot in the previous stage, continued to ski closed her last five targets, moving into the third spot.
IBU World Championship to Oeberg
Oeberg slowed in the last loop; still led by 41 seconds with 1500 meters to go. She held on to cross with a 39 second bulge on the field to secure her first IBU World Championship title. Vittozzi continued to close the gap to Oeberg on the last loop, but could not catch the leader, but finished ahead of Dahlmeier. Braisaz stayed ahead of the German to take the last podium spot.
Vittozzi Wanted to do Better
Vittozzi, after six prone penalties in Sunday’s pursuit was determined to be better today. “I tried to forget the last race because I was very disappointed,. I started the new week and tried to get back the feeling on the shooting range. I wanted to shoot clean and show that I could do better than the last race.”
World Cup Individual Score Globe to Vittozzi
The Italian’s third place today secured the World Cup Individual Score Crystal globe for Vittozzi, who finished with 140 points to Fialkova’s 111 points.
After a bad day in the sprint and skipping the pursuit, @FedFranceSki's Justine Braisaz starts her second week with her first ever individual World Championships medal 🥉🇫🇷— IBU World Cup (@IBU_WC) March 12, 2019
Follow the women's Individual in #2019ostersund on https://t.co/bk5aBBso9Q pic.twitter.com/N0xXfmpJ7x
Braisaz’ medal was a surprise considering that she had only been in the top 10 on two occasions this season. She explained her inconsistency.” I knew what I am capable to do. I did not manage to do it in the sprint, or the whole season actually… There were lots of ups and downs; more downs than up actually. I know what I can do, I just need to find the confidence and focus before the start. I managed to do it today; I was really determined to forget the other results. I could say now, that I enjoyed it!