Norway and Russia win IBU Cup mixed relays
Team Norway with Endre Stroemsheim and Karoline Erdal won the single mixed relay at IBU Cup 5 in Osrblie, Slovakia, using six spare rounds and finishing in 38:57.7. In the mixed relay, the win went to Russia with Vadim Filimonov, Semen Suchilov, Ekaterina Glazyrina and Victoria Slivko. With the best shooting result and only three spare rounds, they finished in 1:21:37.9.
Single mixed relay
Behind Norway, team France with Aristide Begue and Lou Jeanmonnot followed in second with three spares, 29.4 seconds back. Ukraine with Vitaliy Trush and Yuliia Zhuravok used only two spare rounds to finish third, 42.6 seconds behind.
Germany followed in fourth, losing the podium by mere .2 seconds, Czech Republic was fifth and Sweden sixth.
The first IBU Cup competition day in Osrblie, greeted the teams with the sunny weather and light wind at the shooting range. The competition started with the single mixed relay for 23 teams, which lined up at the starting gate. The men stepped on the track first with experienced Erik Lesser of Germany leading the pack before the first exchange. France followed in second, Norway was third and Ukraine fifth.The second exchange, with the girls tapping their teammates, saw some changes in the standings. Norway took the lead, France held second place, while Sweden, Germany and Ukraine followed them, staying close together.
“Better keep it”
At the third leg, Stroemsheim and Begue kept their advantage over their rivals, staying in the same places, while Ukraine and Germany were battling for third position. Trush and Lesser tapped Zhuravok and Stefanie Scherer .5 seconds apart; it was girls turn to decide who was going to take the podium.
🇳🇴E.Stroemsheim, "It was very fun to compete with Karoline today. When she gave me the lead I thought 'Ok, I better keep it!' 😄 So I kept it and she was just amazing at the last loop."— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) January 15, 2020
📸: Bjoern Reichert pic.twitter.com/GD75uatrJK
Erdal and Jeanmonnot matched their male teammates with a confident performance, taking first and second places. The Ukrainian and the German stayed together during the whole leg, leaving for the last loop just a second apart. On the final stretch, Zhuravok proved to be stronger, finishing .2 seconds ahead of Scherer and taking third place.
In the mixed relay, the German team finished second with only four spares, 2.6 seconds back, while Norway had a penalty loop and eight used spare rounds on their way to the third place, 44.7 seconds behind.
Czech Republic finished fourth, France was fifth and Ukraine took the last place in the top 6.
Norway in the lead
Taking the lead after the second shooting; at the first exchange Russia came in third with a 15.5-second gap to the leaders, Norway and 10 seconds behind Germany, which stayed in second. From that point and until the end of the competition, only these three teams battled for the podium spots. While Germany and Russia were changing the places, Norway kept the first place with a confident lead over their rivals.
When Haavard Gutuboe Bogetveit tagged his teammate Ida Lien, Norway’s advantage over Germany was already 39.8 seconds and almost a minute from Russia. The third leg did not witness many changes with Lien keeping the lead with almost the same gap to Germany, while Russia reduced the gap to 43.4 seconds.
Decisive final standing
The last leg with the final standing was decisive in the battle for the win. While Norway’s Emilie Aagheim Kalkenberg was using spare after spare, Slivko and Vanessa Voigt came to the range and started shooting. The Norwegian could not escape the penalty loop; her rivals took advantage of that. The Russian and the German left the stadium 5.8 seconds apart with Kalkenberg dropping to third place. Voigt, who took her first senior podium just a few days ago, did not manage to catch more experienced Slivko, finishing in second, while Russia was celebrating the victory.
🇷🇺V.Slivko, "It was tense at the final standing; when I came to the range, I heard that the Norwegian missed. I thought I might have a chance in that situation... Nevertheless, the German girl stayed very close, so I had to battle until the finish."— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) January 15, 2020
📸: Bjoern Reichert pic.twitter.com/MGQPGia5KA
Photo: Bjoern Reichert