Anastasiia Egorova and Philipp Nawrath win IBU Cup sprints
It was the day of sprint competitions in Brezno-Osrblie. In the women’s 7.5 km sprint, Russia’s clean-shooting Anastasiia Egorova finished in 19:57.1 claiming the win. In the men’s 10 km competition, Philipp Nawrath, although a close call, proved once again to be the best, missing once in standing, but winning in 25.01.2.
Also clean-shooting Marthe Krakstad Johansen of Norway finished second for her first-ever senior podium 14.7 seconds behind Egorova. Johansen's teammate Karoline Erdal missed once to finish third, 17.4 seconds back.
Anna Kryvonos of Ukraine, shooting clean came in fourth, 17.6 seconds back. Germany’s Vanessa Voigt with one penalty finished fifth, 19.9 seconds back. Sweden’s Ingela Andersson, missing once, claimed sixth place, 20.7 seconds behind.
10/10 brought the win
21st before the prone, but clearing the bout, Egorova moved up fourteen positions leaving the shooting range seventh, 13 seconds behind Norway’s Ragnhinld Femsteinevik, also shooting clean in the lead. Femsteinevik remained in control until the standing stage. Egorova made her move with another perfect stage while the Norwegian added two penalties, falling to tenth. With the Norwegian out from the picture, Egorova left to the final loop with a 6-second lead ahead Germany’s Anna Weidel. Faster on skis, the Russian overtook the German to finish first.
🇷🇺A. Egorova: “I didn’t feel so good before the start so my goal today was clean shooting and I’m very happy that I did this. On course it was not my best performance, but I’m very happy that I won today.”#IBUCup— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBUCUP) February 20, 2021
📸 Stancik/IBU pic.twitter.com/kMwOb6Za6U
First-ever senior podium
Late-starter Johansen surprised everybody with her second place. 17th and 21.5 seconds behind Femsteinevik after cleaning prone, Johansen didn’t seem to be in for a fight for the podium. With an even wider gap by the standing stage, it was still hard to see the young Norwegian as a serious competition. Johansen entered standing eleventh, 30.4 seconds behind, but as other started collecting penalties, Johansen cleaned, finding herself in the fourth place, 11.1 seconds behind Egorova, and five seconds behind Weidel who was second after the standing and only a few seconds away from Anna Kryvonos of Ukraine in third. The German and the Ukrainian were not as fast as Johansen. She passed the two to finish second for her first-ever senior podium.
Erdal, having earned one penalty in standing, managed also to retain a higher speed than her closest competitors claiming the last spot of the podium.
Clean-shooting David Zobel of Germany finished second, 4 seconds behind Nawrath. Clean-shooting Ruslan Tkalenko of Ukraine and Germany’s Philipp Horn, with one penalty tied for third place, 11.5 seconds back.
Just .4 seconds decided the winner
Most of the IBU Cup leaders chose to start in the last group, the excitement remained until the very last moments. Philipp Nawrath, with number 78, had a good overview of his competitors. Starting when his teammate David Zobel was already in the finish as the leader, Nawrath had a solid goal in front of his eyes: to beat Zobel's 25:01.6. Zobel after a zero penalty day on the range was in control, so Nawrath knew that in order to win he had to do the same. Cleaning prone fulfilled the first step; Nawrath took a 1.8 second lead over also clean-shooting Haavard Gutuboe Bogetveit of Norway. Dominating the competition until the standing stage, Nawrath was determined to keep the lead. However, missing one target dropped him to fourth, 4.1 seconds behind Zobel, 2 seconds behind Tkalenko and 2.5 seconds behind Sivert Guttorm Bakken. Bogetveit collected two penalties dropping out of the game. With the podium still in his reach, Nawrath knew that the standing penalty had to be corrected on the track. Pushing himself hard, the German managed to pass Bakken and Tkalenko by the 8 km split. Seeing that he still had a chance to win, Nawrath powered home with a .4-second win, relegating Zobel to second place.
🇩🇪P. Nawrath: "With the one penalty loop I thought that I’m maybe in the top 10 because I knew that everybody is strong here. And then I heard on the uphill that I’m second, only 4 seconds to the first place. Then I tried to push hard also the downhill and that was it!" #IBUCup pic.twitter.com/qxlHh9gSeM— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBUCUP) February 20, 2021
Two third places
With Nawrath and Zobel out of sight, the fight was on for the last spot of the podium. Picking up one penalty in prone, Horn left the penalty loop in 14th, 20.9 seconds behind his teammate Nawrath. At the same time, Tkalenko shot clean to leave in tenth.
As the competition progressed, Horn, faster on the skis, arrived for standing in 10th, just 0.1 seconds behind Tkalenko. Both men cleaned; the Ukrainian moved to third 2.1 seconds behind and the German in fifth 8.6 seconds behind. Horn, showing better ski speed closed the gap with the Ukrainian on the final loop. Both men crossed the finish line with the exact same time, making it a tie for third place. Bakken, although second after standing, slowed on the last loop, finishing sixth.
Photos: Igor Stancik / IBU