Germany and Norway win IBU Cup mixed relays
The last competition day of the IBU Cup season was not an easy one. The mixed relay conducted in snowfall made things difficult to everyone. Germany with Marion Deigentesch, Hanna Kebinger, Dominik Schmuck and Lucas Fratzscher with one penalty and five spares, claiming the lead in the anchor leg won in 1:17:02.2. The Norwegian duo of Karoline Erdal and Aleksander Fjeld Andersen proved to be the best in the single mixed relay, with eleven spare rounds winning in 42:10.9.
Norway with Emilie Aagheim Kalkenberg, Aasne Skrede, Filip Fjeld Andersen and Sivert Guttorm Bakken finished second with one penalty and eleven spare rounds, 11 seconds back. The surprise of the day, the Czech Republic with Anna Tkadlecova, Tereza Vobornikova, Milan Zemlicka and Adam Vaclavik with six spare rounds claimed the third step of the podium, 19.9 seconds back.
Russia’s initial domination
From the first exchange, Russia seemed to be unbeatable. Although Deigentesch cleaned both stages, Russia's first leg Natalia Gerbulova, despite three spares, was fast enough to close the gap and take the lead at the first exchange, sending Ekaterina Noskova on her way with a 10.5-second lead over Germany.
While Noskova cleaned prone, she picked up one penalty in standing to leave third before her final loop, 21.7 seconds behind Ukraine. Sweden was in second, 12.1 seconds back. Ukraine’s second leg, Vita Semerenko was unable to stay with the faster competitors, arriving at the exchange in third. Sweden managed to exchange first, however Noskova had redeemed her standing mistakes on the course pushing the team up to second, only .7 seconds behind Sweden. Germany due to the penalty of Kebinger exchanged in sixth position.
Knowing that the Russian team skis well, the Swedes had to work extra hard to keep up. By the end of prone, Suchilov was back in the lead leaving the Swedish team in second, 5.1 seconds back. Ukraine was still held on to their third spot, 10.3 seconds back, but the Czech team was coming closer up to fourth, 10.7 seconds back. Suchilov, holding the lead until the final exchange, sent Babikov to the anchor leg with a solid 13.6-second lead overt the Czech team that was up to second. Germany, using only one spare in the third leg, exchanged in third, 16 seconds after Russia.
Germany rises to first; Russia slips from podium
Babikov had the chance to secure a win for the team. However, unable to clean prone without a penalty, the game was over for the Russian team. Fratzscher, cleaning, took a 10-second lead after prone. The Czech team was second, while Norway climbed up to third. With another perfect shooting round in standing, Fratzscher secured the win for Germany. Faster on skis, Bakken anchored the Norwegian team to second leaving the Czech Republic team in third place.
The 🇩🇪anchor L. Fratzscher: "It was a really tough race today because we had no easy conditions. I saw that we had a chance for a medal, but I was not thinking of victory, I only tried to do a good race. I’m really happy about the race. It was really good for our team!" #IBUCup pic.twitter.com/uI2Gv0bFjB— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBUCUP) March 14, 2021
Single Mixed Relay
Russia teamed up Anastasiia Egorova and Vasilii Tomshin, with six spares in second place, 20 seconds behind Norway. France with Paula Botet and Sebastien Mahon, using 8 spare rounds, claimed third place, 41.4 seconds back.
All about the Russia/Norway/France trio
Thanks to two efficient shooting bouts, Egorova took a lead for Russia in the first leg. France exchanged second, 16.3 seconds back, Italy third, 23.9 seconds back. With Erdal using five spares in her first leg, Norway was sixth at the exchange.
Arriving to his first prone stage with a 17.5-second lead over Mahon, Tomshin used three spares to clean the bout to leave in third. Mahon and Andersen both cleaning, left the shooting range in first and second. This kickstarted a duel between Norway and France. Side-by-side in standing, Andersen missed only once while Mahon had to use all three spares. This gave Norway a 21.4-second lead by the second the exchange.
The top three teams cleaned prone in the third leg without any problems keeping the same order. In standing however, none of the three was able to clear without using the spares. While Botet and Egorova used only one spare, Erdal missed twice. Still, the lead was strong enough for Erdal to hand over to Andersen with a 23-second lead over the French team. Russia exchanged in third, 4.8 seconds behind Botet.
Confident on the track, Andersen increased his team’s lead, maintaining it despite missing twice in his final prone. At the very last shooting stage of the competition, the Norwegian shot fast entering the final lap with a 27.5-second lead. With Andersen on his way to bringing the Norwegian team victory, the duel for second place between France and Russia was still very much alive. Side-by-side at the final standing stage, the Russian cleaned, but his French rival used three spares, falling 15 seconds behind. This resulted in Russia claiming second place, France third.
🇳🇴 Karoline Erdal about her new Single Mixed Relay partner 🤩: " I’m really satisfied with our race today! I knew that Aleksander would be a good shooter and he is in a good shape. I know Aleksander pretty well, same as Endre so I wasn’t concerned about that."#IBUCup pic.twitter.com/KEp7kqJjhL— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBUCUP) March 14, 2021
Final Globes marked the end of the IBU Cup 2020/2021 season
Today marked the ending of the 2020/21 IBU Cup season and the final Crystal Globes were handed out to the winners. Norway took home the IBU Cup Mixed Relay and IBU Cup Men’s Nation’s Score Globes.
Team Russia earned the Women’s Nation’s total Score Globe.