5 things we learned in Nove Mesto na Morave week 2
Tiril Eckhoff won back-to-back-to-back-to-back individual competitions in Nove Mesto na Morave and Total Score title with that. JT Boe and Sturla Holm Laegreid are (almost) tied in the Total Score battle while Dzinara Alimbekava owns the Blue bib. Italy finally put all the puzzle pieces together for a mixed relay podium and the IBU Cup season finished with the finals in Obertilliach.
- Tiril Eckhoff clinched the Total Score title
Tiril Eckhoff won all four individual competitions in Nove Mesto na Morave, which amounted to a record-breaking 12 wins in one season, and clinched the first Total Score standings title of her career. Exactly a year ago, Eckhoff was beaten by Dorothea Wierer at the last shooting of the season, and although she felt down and out for a few days after that, life taught her to stand up and keep fighting when you get punched. Her compatriot Tora Berger won 11 times in the 2012/2013 season when Eckhoff was only in her second full-time season at the BMW IBU World Cup level, and she saw firsthand how history is made. She is now in a league of her own with the Season Finals in Oestersund offering her three more opportunities to win. She has also won the sprint and pursuit Total Score titles.
- JT Boe and Sturla Holm Laegreid tied in an epic fight
JT Boe liked last year’s scenario when he had to win all the competitions after the IBU World Championships Antholz–Anterselva 2020 to have any chance of beating Martin Fourcade in a fight for the Total Score title (which he did) much more than this year’s, where Sturla Holm Laegreid keeps following him like a shadow he can’t get rid of. Second place in the pursuit was a big boost for JT’s confidence before the last three competitions in Oestersund, but he was also surprised to be in the fight for the Total Score title at all because his shooting accuracy has been more volatile than he would have expected this season. Before Oestersund, JT has 1,011 points to Sturla’s 986 with the worst result already dropped from the count. When the next three worst results are dropped, JT has 914 points to Sturla’s 907.
- Dzinara Alimbekava is holding on tight to the Blue bib
After a very strong start to the season culminating with a win in the sprint and second place in the pursuit in the first week of Hochfilzen, Dzinara Alimbekava’s form dropped due to tiredness. She kept working hard and started to get her good feelings back during the IBU World Championships Pokljuka 2021. It was in the weeks of Nove Mesto na Morave that she rejoined the best of the best by finishing fourth and sixth in the sprints and second in the pursuit with her second 20/20 of the season. She held on to her lead in the fight for the Blue bib. She now has 652 points to Marketa Davidova’s 622 while Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold has 587 and Elvira Oeberg 583. With the next three worst results dropped, Alimbekava has 636 points, Davidova 609, Tandrevold 581 and Oeberg 577.
- Many reasons behind Italy’s belated first relay podium of the season
Team Italy with Lisa Vittozzi, Dorothea Wierer, Dominik Windisch and Lukas Hofer finished second in the last mixed relay competition of the season to get Italy’s first relay podium of the season. Hofer performed strongly for most of the season, but he had to wait for the rest of his team’s puzzles to come together: Vittozzi fell ill with COVID-19 in November and needed weeks to recover her full strength, Wierer started the season exhausted from many commercial engagements in the summer and early autumn. Windisch also became sick before the season start and only joined his team in the second week of Kontiolahti. The same team won a silver medal at last year’s IBU World Championships in Antholz–Anterselva, and bronze at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
- Vanessa Voigt and Filip Fjeld Andersen
The IBU Cup season ended with the finals in Obertilliach. Vanessa Voigt of Germany and Filip Fjeld Andersen of Norway won the IBU Cup Total Score standings title for the first time in their careers. Voigt’s win was largely based on her two strong weeks and three consecutive wins in Brezno-Osrblie while Andersen produced a balanced season from beginning to end with three wins in the sprint. In the women’s field, Karoline Erdal and Emilie Aagheim Falkenberg of Norway finished second and third while in the men’s field, Philipp Nawrath of Germany finished second and Sivert Guttorm Bakken of Norway third.
Photo: IBU/C. Manzoni