Ida Lien and Sturla Holm Laegreid win IBU Cup mass starts 60

Ida Lien and Sturla Holm Laegreid win IBU Cup mass starts 60

Ida Lien of Norway won the women's mass start 60 at IBU Cup 6 in Martell with two penalties in 37:22.5. Later in the day, her teammate Sturla Holm Laegreid celebrated a victory in the men's mass start 60, finishing in 40:47.6 with two penalties.

Women mass start 60

Behind Lien, second place went to Germany’s Franziska Hildebrand with one penalty, 13.6 seconds back. Yuliia Zhuravok of Ukraine finished third with one mistake, 20.8 seconds behind.

Ida Lien and Sturla Holm Laegreid win IBU Cup mass starts 60

The only clean shooter of the day Tamara Steiner of Austria finished fourth, 29.9 seconds back. Russia’s Anastasiia Porshneva despite three penalties took fifth place, which secured her the win in the Women’s IBU Cup Mass Start Score. Her teammate Victoria Slivko finished sixth with two penalties, 34.3 seconds behind.

Ida Lien and Sturla Holm Laegreid win IBU Cup mass starts 60

First-ever podium

On another clear and windless morning, 59 athletes kicked off the day with the women's mass start 60. Taking the lead after the first shooting, Lien dropped to 9th place after two penalties in the second and third bouts. Coming to the final standing 25.5 seconds behind her rivals, the Norwegian was one of just a few athletes who managed to shoot clean. This saw her moving to second and leaving just 1.2 seconds behind the leader. Pushing hard on the final loop, Lien easily overcame all of her rivals, taking her first-ever podium with a confident advantage.

Two accurate prone stages saw the experienced Hildebrand taking the lead after the second; however, a penalty loop after the first standing dropped her to fourth position. At the final standing she managed to clean all 5 targets, leaving the stadium in third, 2.2 seconds behind the leading Zhuravok. Proving to be stronger than the Ukrainian, who had a perfect competition until the last shooting, the German crossed the finish line in second. Zhuravok, who missed once at the last standing, was a bit slower on the track then the rivals, but still took the first podium of the season.

Ida Lien and Sturla Holm Laegreid win IBU Cup mass starts 60

Men mass start 60

Second place in the men’s competition went to Lucas Fratzscher of Germany, 5 seconds behind, while his teammate Roman Rees finished third, 11.5 seconds back. They matched each other on the shooting range with two penalties each.

Sindre Fjellheim Jorde of Norway missed three times to finish fourth, 30.3 seconds behind. Lars Helge Birkeland with three penalties finished fifth, 39.5 seconds back, while another Norwegian Endre Stroemsheim finished sixth despite six missed targets, 57 seconds behind.

Ida Lien and Sturla Holm Laegreid win IBU Cup mass starts 60

Tough competition

An exciting mass start 60 closed the competition program at IBU Cup 6. Taking the lead after the second prone, Laegreid held first during the whole competition. The Norwegian collected one penalty after each standing bout, but was fast enough to leave the stadium for the final lap 10.4 seconds ahead of the closest rival Fratzscher.

The German managed to reduce this gap, but he could not keep up with Laegreid on the last steep uphill before the finish. The Norwegian securely crossed the line with his raised hands, taking his first-ever senior podium. While Fratzscher finished second, his teammate Rees took the final podium spot, which was just enough to win the Men’s IBU Cup Mass Start Score with a 2-point advantage over Birkeland.

Ida Lien and Sturla Holm Laegreid win IBU Cup mass starts 60

Photos: Harald Deubert

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