Vanessa Voigt and Nikita Porshnev take IBU Cup short individuals

Vanessa Voigt and Nikita Porshnev take IBU Cup short individuals

IBU Cup 4 in Brezno-Osrblie kicked off with short individuals. Germany's Vanessa Voigt, shooting clean dominated the women's competition winning the 12.5 km short individual in 38:52.3.l claiming third consecutive victory. In men’s 15 km short individual Nikita Porshnev of Russia proved to be the best, shooting clean, for a 39:22.2 win.

Women’s competition

Voigt’s teammate Hanna Kebinger also had an excellent shooting day, shooting clean to finish second 6.9 seconds back. Madeleine Phaneuf of the USA, with one penalty finished third, 26.2 seconds back.

Vanessa Voigt and Nikita Porshnev take IBU Cup short individuals

Fourth and fifth place went to Germany’s Marion Deigentesch, with one penalty and Anna Weidel, with two penalties, 28.3 and 45.1 seconds back respectively. Ragnhild Femsteinevik of Norway missed twice to finish sixth, 1:00.7 back.

The German duel for the first place

Voigt didn’t have the fastest start to the competition. Cleaning the first prone, she found herself in seventh position, 17.6 seconds behind Sweden’s Stina Nilsson, the leader after the first prone stage. With Nilsson still in the lead just before the first standing round, Voigt entered the shooting in 12th position, 40.5 seconds behind. Nilsson adding three penalties in standing, Voigt clearing, the German moved up ten spots to leave the range in third position, 11.3 seconds behind Lou Jeanmonnot of France who took the lead after another clean shooting round. Then as luck turned for Jeanmonnot in the second prone, Voigt added another stable clean stage taking the lead.

With the snowfall getting stronger throughout the competition there were only a few who managed to score a perfect 20/20. With other athletes picking up penalties, Voigt managed to hold on to her lead until the very end, but the win did not come easily as teammate Kebinger was determined to show her best-ever performance. Arriving to the final standing stage in second, 5 seconds back, Kebinger took her time to complete the bout penalty-free leaving the range 11.6 seconds behind Voigt. Showing a better ski time on the last loop, Kebinger managed to reclaim 4.7 seconds, but it was not enough to catch Voigt. 6.9 seconds back, Kebinger finished second earning her first-ever senior podium win while Voigt continued her lucky winning streak.

Surprising Phaneuf

Earning one penalty from the first standing, Phaneuf was as far back as 19th after the first standing stage, 47 seconds behind Jeanmonnot. Clearing the second prone however gave her a boost, moving up nine positions to leave tenth. Clearing the final shooting, the US biathlete took back another seven positions. While falling back one position by the 11.3 km split time, but showing great ski speed on her final lap, Phaneuf managed to pass Marion Deigentesch to break up a German sweep.

Vanessa Voigt and Nikita Porshnev take IBU Cup short individuals

Men’s competition

Justus Strelow of Germany with one penalty finished second, 13.6 seconds behind Porshnev. Norway’s Endre Stroemsheim missed twice to finish third, 15.7 seconds back.

Austria’s Tobias Eberhard with one penalty finished fourth, 17.9 seconds back. Nicola Romanin of Italy was the only other man besides Porshnev to shoot 20/20 resulting in the fifth place, 24.9 seconds back. Russia’s Semen Suchilov claimed the sixth place, with two penalties, 30.8 seconds back.

20/20 brings the win

15th after the first prone stage, 11th after the first standing despite cleaning both, things didn’t seem to be that promising for Porshnev. Entering the second prone 54.2 seconds behind leading Philipp Horn, Porshnev knew that in order to take back seconds he needed to shoot clean. Fulfilling that goal, the Russian left the the range third, 25.3 seconds behind Tobias Eberhard who pushed Horn from the lead with closing all the targets in the second prone. Eberhard and Porshnev both clearing three shootings stages, the big decisions were left to the final standing stage. With Eberhard adding one penalty and Porshnev cleaning, the Russian left on the final lap as the leader, 7.5 seconds ahead Strelow. The gap was enough for Porshnev to claim his first-ever senior win.

The "curse" of being second

Strelow had a great start to the competition when clearing the first prone placed him to the second position, only 3 seconds behind his teammate Horn. Unfortunately missing one target in the first standing pushed the German to 15th, the clean-shooting Horn's gap widened to 54.9 seconds. Entering the second prone in 13th, Strelow managed to close all the targets to leave the range in fourth, 28.9 seconds behind Eberhard. Eberhard, holding the lead before the final standing stage, missed one target, Horn missed two, the cards shuffled in clean-shooting Porshnev's favour. While Porshnev claimed the win, Strelow, with one penalty in total, settled for with second place for the third consecutive time. Only 2 seconds behind Strelow, Stroemsheim claimed third place.

Vanessa Voigt and Nikita Porshnev take IBU Cup short individuals

Photos: Igor Stancik /IBU