Marketa Davidova Wins IBU World Championship 15 km Gold
Marketa Davidova of Czech Republic shot clean this afternoon to win the IBU World Championship 15 km Individual Gold medal in 42:27.7. Davidova’s victory was her second career win and her best result of this season. Sweden’s Hanna Oeberg, with one penalty finished with the Silver medal, 27.9 seconds back. Norway’s Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold, with one penalty won the Bronze medal, 1:04 back.
Davidova, the 2018 IBU Junior Pursuit Champion admitted that luck might have been on her side on the shooting range. “It is so nice to win; I am really happy. I do not know (how I pulled off the 20-for-20). I think I was really lucky today because they were not middle hits, I think, so I was lucky.”
Calm until Number 20
She was calm on her last shots until number 20. “I was clam before the shooting. So, when I hit the nineteenth shot, I was like, ‘oh my God, I need to hit the last one. So I was a little nervous, but I think I just pushed the bullet to the target with my mind!”
Hauser and Wierer Share World Cup Individual Score Globe
Hauser’s fourth place secured a tie with ninth place Dorothea Wierer of Italy in the World Cup Individual Score, as this was the final individual competition of the season.
Wierer commented with a laugh after missing the podium, “It is nice to win something! It has been a really hard season for me to I have to fight in every race…I have not felt really good this year and then I was sick before coming here. I made the races even though I was sick; it was hard. I still feel it, but it is the World Championships and you have to fight for every second.” On sharing the Globe, she added, “It is better to share with someone than to win nothing. Lisa is really strong this season and she deserves this. Maybe she deserves it more than me!”
Unexpected for Hauser
Hauser had no idea about the Globe. “I had no thoughts about it when the race started and I was really surprised when they told me after the race that if I stayed in fourth I would share it with Doro. It is just amazing. My goal was to be on the podium this year and since January, it has gone so well, prefect for me…Doro’s comment is really kind; wea re god friends, but she is one of the best in the world. Both of us deserve it!”
Perfect Biathlon Day
This first day of the second week of the 2021 IBU World Championships was another perfectly clear sunny day at Pokljuka, again virtually windless on the shooting range and the temperature at a very mild +1C; simply a great biathlon day! The first prone stage found defending champion Dorothea Wierer, Hauser, Davidova all shooting clean, but 8 seconds off the leader Lucia Charvátová’s pace. Olsbu Roeiseland came to prone skiing well, cleaned quickly and left just 9 seconds back, while Oeberg also cleaned but was 18 seconds back.
Oeberg Easily Cleans First Standing Stage
Wierer became the first women to go 10-for-10, after holding her last shot for a long time in the first standing stage. Dzinara Alimbekava answered a two minutes later with her own clean stage to go ahead of the Italian. Oeberg after her slower but clean prone stage, knocked down the five standing targets with ease to move up to the top spot, while Hauser did the same to go into second position. Olsbu Roeiseland like many of her rivals spent some extra time on each shot, but cleaned to stay in contention. Davidova went clean for the second consecutive stage to move into second position behind Oeberg.
Davidova on Top
Wierer had a single miss in the second prone but went out in the top spot, but Preuss after an earlier standing miss followed with a clean stage to move to .2 seconds back.
Oeberg like Wierer missed a single shot but moved ahead of the Italian. Then Hauser topped Norway’s Ida Lien to take the lead. Olsbu Roeiseland picked up her first penalty to fall move than a minute back. Davidova continued her march in the direction of the podium with clean stage number three which netted her the lead over Hauser.
Davidova and Oeberg
Oeberg closed her last five targets to move into the lead by over a minute while Hauser added another penalty, but still left in the second spot. Olsbu Roeiseland shot fast but added two penalties, ending her day. Yet, Davidova again sparkled at the shooting range, shooting very conservatively to go to 20-for-20 which gave her the lead by 28 seconds with 3 km to go. Starter number 56 Tandrevold came to the last standing stage in seventh position, then cleaned easily to leave in third.
First IBU WCH Title for Davidova
Oeberg skied well on the last loop to take the top spot for a while, with Hauser crossing in second position. However, Davidova was as steady on the last loop as she was on the shooting range, sprinting across the finish line with almost the same margin as when she left the last standing stage. That was enough put her atop the podium with her first-ever IBU World Championship title. Tandrevold followed later holding her third position over the last loop into the finish.
Oeberg: Confident, Secure and Grounded
Oeberg admitted that she appreciated this medal after not medaling in the sprint and pursuit. She attributed it to her ability to rebound when things do not go as planned. “It means a lot to me. Every medal has a story. After the previous races, to come back today and take a medal means really much. I am really proud of this medal…I have really good confidence, feel secure with myself and am grounded. I trust myself and I know what I can do. I am also humble to the sport; biathlon is really hard and you cannot expect to do perfect performances every day. That is why it is important for me to stay calm and believe that I can do something good the next day.”
Handling Last Stage Pressure
Tandrevold was most proud of how she handled the pressure in the last standing stage to seal her second individual IBU WCH medal. “I am relieved and happy and eager to share this medal with my boyfriend, family and team…I did a really god job in my head today. I tried to turn the last shooting into something positive. I know that I have been a position for medals and places before and then missed the targets. Instead of focusing on what happened before, I felt calm today and had been in this position before and now I knew how to handle it.”
Photos: IBU/ Thibaut, Manzoni