Zuk and Pryma Win OECH Pursuit Gold
Kamila Zuk of Poland, shooting clean in her home stadium at Duszniki Zdrój, won the IBU OECH women’s 10 km pursuit Gold medal this morning in 29:17:12. Artem Pryma of Ukraine with three penalties won the afternoon men's 12.5 km pursuit Gold medal in 32:11:3.
The Norwegians had a podium double when Karoline Erdal and Aasne Skrede claimed the Silver and Bronze medals. Erdal finished 13.4 seconds back and Skrede 16.2 seconds back with both recording three penalties.
Just missing a medal, Larisa Kuklina of Russia, three penalties finished fourth, 18.3 seconds back. Sweden's Ingela Andersson, with four penalties and Anna Magnusson with two penalties penalties, finished fifth and sixth, 39.3 seconds back and 52.3 seconds back, respectively.
“I know that I did a perfect job today”
Starting from 18th position, 44 seconds behind sprint winner Baiba Bendika of Latvia, Zuk gained 6 positions before the first prone stager.. Clearing the targets moved her up to ninth position, 45.5 behind the leader Larisa Kuklina of Russia. Yet again two perfect shootings for Zuk in prone and standing moved her up to sixth after the first standing stage, 11 seconds behind Kuklina, who despite two misses still managed to keep the lead. The Russian earned another penalty in the second standing, Zuk seized opportunity to close the gap and take the lead. 16.3 seconds ahead Erdal and 18.9 seconds ahead Kuklina, Zuk entered the final lap in the lead and held it for the Gold medal.
🥇🇵🇱K. Zuk: "It is amazing, it is hard to describe. I am so happy to win here in Duszniki because I feel like I’m home. It was my first time to shoot four times zero. I am really happy, I know that I did a perfect job today."#OECH21 pic.twitter.com/11CSqgwVx3— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) January 30, 2021
Starting second, Erdal managed to keep the position until the first prone. After one penalty, Erdal left the range in fifth position, 25.3 seconds behind Kuklina. Cleaning the second prone, Erdal climbed back to second position, 30.8 seconds behind the leader Kuklina. Despite one penalty in each standing, Erdal still managed to retain second place claiming the Silver medal.
Two seconds decided the Bronze
The game of seconds determined the fate of the Bronze medal. Skrede, with one penalty in the second prone and two in the last standing, left the final shooting in fourth position, almost 18 seconds behind Kuklina who was in the Bronze spot Skrede, with the fastest lap time on the final loop, took back all those seconds to finish 3rd, claiming her first-ever senior individual Championship medal, just two seconds ahead of Kuklina.
Michal Krcmar of Czech Republic, with one penalty claimed the Silver medal, 6.6 seconds behind Pryma. Norway’s Haavard Gutuboe Bogetveit with three penalties won the Bronze medal, 12.5 seconds behind.
Johannes Kuehn of Germany, starting third today, finished fourth, with three penalties,18.6 seconds back. 14th at the start, Norway’s Filip Fjeld Andersen, with three penalties, claimed fifth place, 21 seconds behind. Sivert Guttorm Bakken, with five penalties, finished sixth, 21.9 seconds back.
Gold for Ukraine
Starting 31 seconds behind sprint winner Martin Jaeger, Pryma arrived to the first prone 23.7 seconds behind Jaeger. Jaeger cleaned to keep the lead while the Ukrainian earned one penalty , leaving in eighth. Pryma cleaned the second prone stage managed to move up one spot leaving the range 31.4 seconds behind the new leader Kuehn. With Kuehn picking up one penalty, Krcmar cleaned the first standing, taking the lead from the German. One penalty loop and 17 seconds later, Pryma left the range in fourth with Kuehn second, Bogetveit third.
Bogetveit and Kuehn each had two penalties in the last standing stage, opening door for the Ukrainian to shuffle the deck. Krcmar and Pryma each had one penalty each and left the range side-by-side, just 0.1 seconds separating them. Faster on skis, the Ukrainian widened the gap to 6.6 seconds to claim the Gold medal leaving Krcmar to settle for the Silver medal
Fight for the Bronze
Kuehn, leading after the second prone stage, ruined his perfect series with one penalty in the first standing bout, but still kept second after the shooting. With hopes still high to earn a medal, the German entered the final standing stage on course to claim Silver. Earning two penalties in the final shooting stage, hopes for the second place were gone, with the fight now about the Bronze. Bogetveit, also had two penalties; the Norwegian and the German left the range third and fourth, only two seconds between them leaving the fate of the Bronze to the last lap. Showing better speed, Bogetveit managed to hold the position and the Bronze medal.
Photos: Igor Stančík/IBU