Johannes and Marte team up; win IBU WCH Single Mix Gold
Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe and Marte Olsbu Røiseland teamed up to win the Gold medal in the IBU World Championships Single Mixed relay this afternoon. The wining duo used just six spare rounds in their 43:19.9 victory. Norway with Johannes also on the anchor leg won last Thursday’s mixed relay. The German team of Franziska Preuss and Erik Lesser won the Silver medal, with five spare rounds, 17.6 seconds back. France’s Emilien Jacquelin came back in the last standing stage to give him and Anais Bescond the Bronze medal, with four spare rounds, 29.8 seconds back.
Olsbu Røiseland’s Fifth IBU WCH Medal
Smiling and a bit breathless, Olsbu Røiseland was thrilled with the victory, giving her five medals in the past week. “It is so great since there were so many teams so close. It was crazy.” Regarding Johannes’s last standing stage, she added, “I was nervous but Johannes did a really good job. I am so proud of him; it was perfect!”
“I Wanted This Gold Medal”
Johannes was much more satisfied than yesterday when he went home with another Silver medal in the 20 km individual after having a chance to win Gold with a clean last standing stage. “It feels really good. I wanted this Gold medal. Marte put me in the right mood today. I saw her attacking face at breakfast today so I was scared. We did a very good job. She put me right where I wanted. Since we each have two laps here, I did some mistakes in my first but I learned from it. My last part today is one of my best days at work!”
Sweden, with seven spares finished fourth, 35.2 seconds back. Switzerland, with nine spares was fourth, 40.6 seconds back. Austria, with four spares finished sixth, 54.5 seconds back.
Fast Paced First Loop
The clouds again kept the sun away for today’s competition, with the temperature at -1C and once again, wind crossing the shooting range from left to right. Olsbu Røiseland and Sweden’s Hanna Oeberg set a fast pace out of the stadium right from the start. Oeberg and Preuss shot fast and clean in their first prone to grab the early lead. Olsbu Røiseland used a spare to leave 10 seconds back, which she regained by the time they came to the standing stage. She cleaned standing with ease to tag Johannes first with the Swiss team second, followed by Oeberg and Bescond.
Spare Rounds for Norway
Johannes quickly pulled 10 seconds ahead by prone but lost it all with a spare round, allowing Benjamin Weger and Lesser to leave on his shoulder. Both of his rivals stayed with the Norwegian into the standing stage. Weger cleaned first with Lesser also at about the same time, while Johannes used two spares, falling 6 seconds back.
Haecki and Preuss
Switzerland’s Lena Haecki and Preuss set the pace in their second leg, with Oeberg next. Olsbu Røiseland cleaned first in the prone stage with Haecki and Oeberg now on her shoulder. The top four which now included Italy’s Dorothea Wierer came to the standing stage together. Preuss closed her five targets first with Haecki and Olsbu Røiseland just a split second back. Wierer ended up with a penalty, falling out of the medal chase.
Johannes Cleans Standing; Secures the Win
The German veteran skied aggressively ahead of Johannes and Weger over the next 1.5 km, separating the trio from the field. Johannes’ prone stage was not as fast as the German with both were perfect. Samuelsson cleaned to get up to third 10 seconds back. Johannes pushed hard, leaving Lesser and Samuelsson 4 and 12 back coming to the last standing stage. Johannes cleaned first to secure the Gold medal while Lesser used one spare; they went out 1-2. Samuelsson missed two shots while Jacquelin cleaned to move into a medal spot with 1500 meters to go.
Norway, Germany and France
The last loop was all Norway with Johannes at full speed, claiming its third Gold medal. Lesser crossed in the Silver medal spot, while Jacquelin after losing a ski pole just after the standing stage, powered home in the Bronze spot. in his only IBU WCH appearance, brought Germany its third Silver medal.
“Proud of Us”
Preuss was happy to finally get a medal at these championships. “I am very happy especially because in the individual races, I was always very close to the medals, so today I am just happy and proud of both of us that we did it. It is so hard to manage it in the single mixed relay; to get a medal. We are very happy.”
Relays Special for Bescond
Bescond with her 7th IBU WCH Relay medal said relays are special. “It is really special for me. It is just in my heart; that is how I am. I really like the teamwork and the possibility to share the podium together.”
Photos: IBU/Petr Slavik, Christian Manzoni