Johannes Boe Anchors Norway to Single Mixed Relay Gold
Norway's Johannes Thingnes Boe and Marte Olsbu Røiseland teamed up to take the first IBU World Championship title in the single mixed relay, using just six spare rounds in their 35:43.2 victory. Johannes pulled out the victory by going 10-for-10 in a last leg duel with Italy’s Lukas Hofer, who used a single spare. Hofer and teammate Dorothea Wierer needed five spares to secure the Silver medal, 13.4 seconds back. The home team Sweden’s two biggest stars Hanna Oeberg and Sebastian Samuelsson, using eight spares delighted the packed stadium with their Bronze medal, 20seconds back.
For the History Book
Olsbu Røiseland and Johannes were jubilant about their historic victory. Olsbu Røiseland said, “I feel really great; it super to be the first (Single Mixed Relay World Champions). Johannes added, “It is one for the history books!” His teammate continued, “We are so happy to be here. I struggled a bit on the range in the first leg, but my last shooting was good. Johannes was really great today!” The Sprint World Champion then quipped, “Like a mirror, I say the same thing!”
Confidence in Johannes
Olsbu Røiseland tempered her pace in her second leg, which helped her tag in first position. “I just tried to do my own race and shoot good…I opened the last leg more slowly and then had much more power at the end. It was so good that I was able to exchange with Johannes in the lead. I was confident he would do a great job for us and he did. I am so happy.”
Germany with six spares finished fourth, 30.5 seconds back. Ukraine, with five spares was fifth, 41.5 seconds back, while Russia finished sixth, with five spares, 52.7 seconds back.
Italy at First Exchange
The first-ever IBU World Championships Single Mixed Relay with 29 teams on the starting line kicked off under cloudy skies but peeks of blue sky with virtually windless conditions. Those conditions meant that fast accurate shooting would probably carry the day in this fast-paced, action packed competition. Anastasia Merkushyna came out of the first prone with a half-ski length lead on Lisa Theresa Hauser with both cleaning in five shots.11 teams left the range within 10 seconds with the fast-skiing Denise Herrmann at the rear alongside Oeberg. By the time they came to standing, Olsbu Røiseland and Hauser were 1-2. Then Wierer, Merkushyna, Hauser and Simon all cleaned in five shots, with Lukas Hofer taking the tag and leading the train of Austria, Ukraine and the rest out of the stadium. Johannes was a dozen seconds back.
Ukraine Moves Up
Hofer and Johannes cleaned first, with Eliseev, Pidruchnyi and Eder less than seven seconds back. Johannes shadowed the Italian for the whole next loop. Dmytro Pidruchnyi, Antonin Guigonnat and Simon Eder all cleaned standing in five to exchange in that order, with Germany and Italy next and Norway in sixth, 20 seconds off the pace.
Herrmann Skis to Lead; Italy Leads at Exchange
Hermann immediately bolted into the lead with Simon on her shoulder, leaving the pack behind. Wierer shot very fast and clean in prone to move in front with Hauser after a fall 4 seconds back just ahead of the German. Simon and Oeberg trailed, but only 12 seconds from the leaders. Herrmann again flew to the front, onto the Italian’s shoulder, then passing her. Wierer cleaned in six shots as did Olsbu Røiseland and Oeberg. Hofer left in front, but less than a second of Johannes and Samuelsson. Germany, with Erik Lesser was now 14 seconds back.
Norway, Italy and Sweden
The three set up for prone together. Johannes shot clean and just a hair faster than the equally perfect Italian. Samuelsson needed a spare and left 9 seconds back. The leaders went stride-for-stride for the next loop, setting up the final standing stage. Johannes cleaned in five for the win, while Hofer used a spare but left safely in second position. The Swede added another spare round, leaving in third, 15 seconds back but seven seconds ahead of Lesser.
“One Shot Too Much”
Hofer commented on his shooting. “I think the key to the whole race was to shoot with as few spare shots as possible. I tried to be quite faster than normally; it worked out really well today…One shot too much at the end, but I am really satisfied.”
High fives, hugs and celebrations all round between @7ohannesbo, Marte Olsbu Roeiseland, @hoferluki, Dorothea Wierer, @hannaaaoberg and @SebbeSamuelsson! #2019Ostersund 🤗— IBU World Cup (@IBU_WC) March 14, 2019
Watch celebrations after the Single Mixed Relay on https://t.co/bk5aBBso9Q pic.twitter.com/iazyOqoqvq
Johannes’ Flag-waving Finish
Johannes pushed the pace to make sure the Italian did not catch him. He grabbed a Norwegian flag and skied home with it held high, right into his partner’s arms. Hofer gestured in joy at the finish, while the home crowd added more noise as Samuelsson crossed in the Bronze spot.
Italy: “Really Good Team”
Wierer admitted shooting was important for Hofer and her. “We know we can be a really good team but it depends on our shooting. We were confident today.”
Sweden’s Special Medal
Samuelsson admitted that winning an IBU WCH medal today was quite special. “It was a really inspiring chance I go going out with Luki and Johannes; it was a great fight. It was an amazing day. it was really fun to do it here in Östersund. It was amazing!”