Anna Weidel and Endre Stroemsheim Take IBU Cup Pursuits
The fourth IBU Cup concluded in Brezno-Osrblie with the pursuit competitions. In the season’s final women’s 10 km pursuit Anna Weidel of Germany earned one penalty proving to be the best winning in 26:13.7. It was a Norwegian sweep in the men’s 12.5 km pursuit with Endre Stroemsheim, with one penalty winning in 30:29.8, followed by Sivert Guttorm Bakken and Aleksander Fjeld Andersen in second and third.
Anna Kryvonos of Ukraine, also with one penalty finished second 9.4 seconds back After losing the lead with two penalties in the last standing, Norway’s Ragnhild Femsteinevik finished in third place, 15 seconds back.
Marthe Krakstad Johansen with one penalty finished fourth, 18.9 seconds back. Sweden's Ingela Andersson with three penalties finished fifth , 20.5 seconds back. Germany’s Juliane Fruehwirt claimed sixth place, with one penalty, 27.7 seconds back.
Three rounds of zeroes
Right from the start, Weidel had great confidence in her shooting. Cleaning the first prone put the German in third, 8.1 seconds behind the leader Andersson and only .5 seconds behind Femsteinevik. With others skiing faster, Weidel arrived at the second prone in fourth, 8.3 seconds behind the Swede. Andersson collected one penalty, opening the door for clean-shooters to take back seconds. Femsteinevik, Weidel and Kryvonos all cleaned to leave the shooting range first, second and third respectively.
Arriving at the first standing stage in the same order, all three once again closed all the targets to leave the range in the same order: Femsteinevik still first, Weidel 11.3 seconds back, Kryvonos 14.8 seconds back.
Femsteinevik crumbled, Weidel succeeded
Andersson made up her one penalty on the tracks, arriving at the final standing in second, 14.7 seconds behind the Norwegian. Weidel was third, Kryvonos fourth. Holding a fair lead, Feimsteinevik had only one assignment: not to earn more than one penalty, but unfortunately the Norwegian crumbled under pressure collecting two. With Andersson sharing the same fate, Weidel saw her chance to take the lead. Despite missing a perfect 20/20 today, Weidel is still the first one out from the penalty loop taking a 7.7-second lead on Kryvonos who also had earned a penalty from the final shooting bout. Holding up to the lead, Weidel claimed the win.
🇩🇪 A. Weidel: "Now I feel very good! During the race I felt a little bit tired, but I knew that I had all the chances with good shooting. I missed the last shot and I was a little bit disappointed in that, but I went on as first on the last loop and I could keep it."#IBUCup pic.twitter.com/MxwjzQ3Yy9— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBUCUP) February 21, 2021
Pursuit Globe tie
Before the final pursuit, Vanessa Voigt of Germany held the lead in the IBU Cup Pursuit Score, but four penalties today and a 19th place finish opened the door for Weidel to earn the Crystal Globe. However, fate stepped in, with both women ending with the exact exactly same number of points resulting in a tie.
🇩🇪V. Voigt and A. Weidel share the Pursuit Globe! 💫— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBUCUP) February 21, 2021
A. Weidel: "I don’t even know what to say. Before the race I didn’t even know that I have the chance to win the Globe so it is a big surprise. I am really happy. It shows that we had a really strong team performance." #IBUCup pic.twitter.com/f7RHVZmGOm
Justus Strelow of Germany was the only man to shoot 20-to-20 in the fourth place, 17.1 seconds behind. His teammate David Zobel, with two penalties finished fifth, 40.8 seconds back. Norway's Filip Fjeld Andersen with three penalties finished in sixth place, 50.4 seconds back.
Zobel's penalty opened the door for the Norwegians
In second after a clean first prone, 11.7 behind also clean-shooting Zobel, Bakken managed to pull back seconds on the track entering the second prone, still second, but 7.3 seconds behind. Both men missed once giving their rivals a chance to pass them. Filip Fjeld Andersen realized the possibility and shooting clean left in the lead. Stroemsheim left after his clean stage 6.7 seconds after Andersen. Having completed their penalties, Zobel and Bakken left the shooting range third and fourth with a less than a second between them.
While Filip Andersen added a penalty in the first standing, Stroemsheim and Bakken cleaned to leave the range first and second. The two Norwegians out of the way, Strelow showed a steady hand for the third time moving to third, 23 seconds behind Stroemsheim. Aleksander Fjeld Andersen, also cleaning the first standing, placed fourth, 1.8 seconds behind Strelow.
The Norwegian sweep
The Norwegian duo of Stroemsheim/Bakken enjoyed a solid lead entering the final standing stage, but yet again the pressure to succeed led the men to making mistakes collecting a penalty each. Meanwhile A. F. Andersen managed to clean, but still was unable to take the lead from Stroemsheim. The duo upgraded to a trio when all three Norwegians left the shooting range within six seconds: Stroemsheim in the lead, Andersen second 4.1 seconds back, Bakken third 5.6 seconds behind. While Stroemsheim took the win, Bakken managed to pass Andersen on the final loop taking second place. Andersen finished third completing an all-Norwegian pursuit podium.
🇳🇴 E. Stroemsheim: "Today I started as number 13, the goal was to climb. Me and Sivert shot together at the last shooting and we both had one miss, but I was a little bit faster so I had a small gap and it was just enough to make it first over the finish line." #IBUCup pic.twitter.com/UMB14aq7y9— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBUCUP) February 21, 2021
Although just missing the first place today, Bakken did well enough to secure the win of the Pursuit Globe.
🇳🇴 Sivert Guttorm Bakken won the men's Pursuit Crystal Globe 🏆!— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBUCUP) February 21, 2021
"To be honest I really hadn’t checked the total score so I didn’t know where I was. I’m really happy with my first Globe. It of course motivates me a lot!"#IBUCup
📸 Stancik/IBU pic.twitter.com/YMIHwauYYN
Photos: Igor Stancik/IBU