Pursuit Gold Medal to Unheralded Dmytro Pidruchnyi
The day after his career-best equaling fourth in yesterday’s sprint, unheralded Ukrainian Dmytro Pidruchnyi, with two penalties won the IBU Pursuit World Championship Gold medal in 31:54.1. The win was the 27-year-old's first-ever podium at the World Cup level, as well as his first IBU WCH medal. Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe, with five penalties, won the Silver medal. 8.3 seconds back. Quentin Fillon Maillet of France won his second Bronze medal in as many days, with three penalties, 17.7 seconds back.
IBU World Championships Men's Pursuit
“Cannot Believe I Won”
Pidruchnyi struggled to grasp the magnitude of his victory. “For the moment I cannot believe that I won a medal, a Gold medal. I do not believe that I could steal a medal from such a person as Johannes.”
He was worried on the last loop that the speedy Norwegian might snatch the win away. “Actually the last loop was really crazy for me. I was trying to do maximum. I was trying to battle as hard as I could, because Johannes was behind me and he is really strong.”
Fourth went to Johannes’ older brother Tarjei, with one penalty, 18.1 seconds back. Fillon Maillet’s teammate Martin Fourcade moved up to fifth, with two penalties, 27.8 seconds back. Andrejs Rastorgujevs of Latvia, with one penalty finished in an IBU WCH career-best sixth place, 40.8 seconds back.
Johannes All Alone
By the time the men started three hours after the women, the skies were clearing with just a few snowflakes flying, but the pesky wind on the shooting range remained in place. As in the case in many pursuits, Johannes skied the first loop alone, shot clean in the first prone and was gone before anyone else was on the mat. Behind him, penalties abounded; Fourcade’s steady clean stage put him in second but 39 seconds back with Loginov seven seconds back. Erik Lesser also shot clean in fourth but 52 seconds back.
Johannes continued to build his lead on the second loop. This time he missed the second shot, but was half way around the penalty loop before Fourcade entered the range, shooting clean again. Loginov matched as did Lesser and Benjamin Weger; they went out together, now 35 seconds behind the Norwegian.
Group of Four Including Pidruchnyi
The leader missed another shot, but it mattered little with his lead close to a minute. All four in the chase group went to the penalty loop with two or more misses. Tarjei added another clean stage as did Guigonnat to jump up to third and fourth, right on the shoulder of Pidruchnyi who had two earlier misses. Fillon Maillet after two prone misses made this a group of four; all in medal contention with one standing stage op go.
Rarely has a ⚪️⚪️⚪️⚪️⚪️in the last shooting been as valuable as today -- and it's what earned Dmytro Pidruchnyi the gold medal! 🇺🇦💪— IBU World Cup (@IBU_WC) March 10, 2019
Watch the 12.5km men's pursuit in #2019Ostersund live on https://t.co/bk5aBBso9Q pic.twitter.com/lISdCShK1v
Three Penalties for Johannes; Pidruchnyi Takes Control
The last standing stage was a big change. With a one minute lead on his chasers, Johannes missed three shots which changed everything. The Ukrainian shot clean quickly to take the lead, 15 seconds ahead of the Sprint World Champion with 2.5K to go. Fillon Maillet and Tarjei missed once each and now were third and fourth, 24 seconds back with Fourcade at 31 seconds back.
With 1200 meters to go, Johannes was gaining but not enough. Pidruchnyi skied home with a clear win and his first-ever IBU World Championships medal: Gold. Johannes followed with a less-than-pleased look as he crossed in second place. Fillon Maillet pulled into third by the11.3K mark, but was in a tight battle with Tarjei. They stayed close together over the final downhill with the sprint Bronze medalist claiming his second IBU WCH Bronze medal over the veteran Norwegian.
Very Disappointed Johannes
The extremely upset Yellow Bib reflected on his day. “This is biathlon, for sure I was thinking I had a big chance to win today and I am very disappointed…I can’t change the results and my terrible mistakes, congratulate Pidruchnyi for his World Championship title. I hope this can make me very angry and more determined for the races to come.
“Not Finished Until You Cross The Line”
Fillon Maillet, after missing two shots in the first prone knew here was a long way to go before the finish. “It was a bad start for me to miss in the prone shooting. I know that the race is not finished until you cross the line. I had a good fight with Tarjei Boe. I am very happy with today, but a bit sad because with the last mistake (in the last standing) I maybe missed the win.