Johannes Thingnes Boe Comes Back to Win Oestersund Sprint
One prone penalty was not enough to derail Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway from taking the men’s sprint today in 24:18.3 at the Oestersund BMW IBU World Cup. After his prone penalty, the Norwegian cleaned standing and pushed hard in the last loop to overtake his brother for the victory. Tarjei Boe, also with one penalty finished second, 19 seconds back. Matvey Eliseev of Russia shot clean to finish third, 19.9 seconds back.
BMW IBU World Cup Östersund Men's Sprint
After the victory, Johannes said, “The field is much closer this year than last year. We saw it with the track times today and how close it was with my brother and Martin. Shooting will be more crucial than ever.”
Fourth place went to Eliseev’s teammate Alexander Loginov, with one penalty, 27.1 seconds back. Martin Fourcade of France was fifth, with two penalties, 27.9 seconds back. Johannes Kuehn of Germany finished sixth, also with two penalties, 28.7 seconds back.
Two in Top 30 Shoot Clean
Sunshine with just below freezing temperatures was the order of the day for the first sprint competition of the season with the ever-present wind on the shooting range pushing the wind flags in various directions. That wind made shooting particularly tricky, with only two men, Thomas Bormolini of Italy and Michael Krcmar of Czech Republic shooting clean
Tarjei was the first of the podium contenders to top the leader board with an efficient clean prone stage. Eliseev and Loginov also cleaned but were both 10 seconds behind the Norwegian veteran. Farther down the start list Johannes missed a prone shot, while Fourcade followed with a clean stage to take the lead over the older Boe brother by less than a second.
Tarjei’s Standing Woes
In standing, Loginov preceded Tarjei with a quick clean standing stage, making him perfect for the day and putting the Russian in the lead. The Norwegian fired four quick perfect shots, hesitated waiting for the wind for a long time and missed the last one, still he retook the lead after leaving the penalty loop, by a mere .4 seconds. He commented, “It is always challenging here in Oestersund with the wind. All the athletes try to solve it in the best way. Before the race I resolved to never give up and fight against the wind. I did; the last shot was …strong winds, I tried but failed.”
The big surprise of the day was Bormolini who after closing all five standing targets was perfect for the day, just 5.3 seconds behind Tarjei. Shooting at the same time, Johannes reversed his fortunes with a solid clean stage while Fourcade, shooting cautiously, missed twice. That put the younger Boe brother in the lead for a few minutes until Eliseev came to standing, cleaned and took the lead by nine seconds.
After the standing stage, Tarjei was atop the finish line leader board until his sibling took over. Johannes showed his usual track brilliance after the standing stage, picking up several seconds at each split, while Eliseev lost time; 18 seconds from the stadium to the 8.7 km split. He fell behind the brothers by the finish into the third spot, just ahead of Loginov.
Johannes was philosophical after his win, admitting, “I do not think I have the margin on the tracks that I had last season. It has disappeared. It will be harder to get sprint wins this year. I did not think there was that big of a chance to win compared to last year, but I did and am proud of that.”
Eliseev, with his first World Cup podium commented, “I only found out after the standing shooting that I could be on the podium. It was a very special moment; I worked with all that I had inside, but this family was faster!”