Record Fifteenth World Cup Victory: Johannes Thingnes Boe Wins Oslo Pursuit
Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway, with tree penalties, eclipsed Martin Fourcade’s single season record of fourteen World Cup victories, taking the Oslo Holmenkollen pursuit this afternoon in 32:15.6 for win number fifteen. His older brother Tarjei, with one penalty, made it a Boe family 1-2 finish when he crossed 13.9 seconds later. Germany’s Arnd Peiffer, also with one penalty, pushed hard in the last loop to take third place, 18.2 seconds back.
Johannes commented on his historic fifteenth victory. “It is a big achievement. To make history in any sport is to know that you have done something right. Biathlon has a lot of legends before me, so to be one of them is very interesting and a very good day.”
Johannes wire-to-wire win, his fifth pursuit title of the season, gave him the World Cup Pursuit score title and the small Crystal Globe, his third Globe this season.
World Cup Total Score Brothers
Regarding becoming the first brothers to win the World Cup Total Score, the man who dominated all season added, “It is a good achievement. Before Martin, Tarjei was the last one to win the World Cup Overall; to be doing the same as my role model Tarjei is very good.”
More Norwegian Crystal
The Norwegian team added more Crystal by taking the World Cup Men’s Relay Score and the World Cup Mixed Relay Score, giving them a sweep of the team trophies.
Austria’s Felix Leitner, the only man in the field to shot clean finished in a personal best fourth place, 22.1 seconds back. The Boe brothers’ teammate Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen, with two penalties finished fifth, 51.1 seconds back. Sprint runner-up Lukas Hofer of Italy, with two penalties, finished sixth, 57.1 seconds back.
Although the afternoon shadows had settled over the shooting range, the conditions changed little from the earlier women’s pursuit; still a wonderful early spring day for the final pursuit of the season. Like Kuzmina earlier, Johannes started fast adding to his 31 second advantage, he cleaned prone easily even though the wind flags were fluttering a bit. Hofer, Doll and Tarjei matched leaving single file, 47, 49 and 52 seconds back.
Pushing hard on the tracks, the Yellow Bib extended his lead to 53 seconds over the pursuit trio half way through the second loop. With the wind picking up for the second prone stage, he clicked, but missed twice before a second adjustment; then hitting the final two shots. Hofer cleaned again but so did Tarjei; they left together, now only 16 seconds back, with Peiffer, Christiansen and Leitner trailing 24 seconds back.
Johannes and Tarjei
Johannes only gained a few seconds before setting up for the first standing stage. Five fast perfect shots followed and he was gone. Tarjei did the same to go out in pursuit of his brother while Hofer went to the penalty loop. Leitner cleaned again to leave in third position, 43 seconds back with Christiansen and Olympic Sprint Champion Peiffer just behind.
Heading to the last standing, Johannes again added some seconds to his lead over his brother and the chasers. Johannes struggled with the wind, missing a single shot while Tarjei shot with authority, also missing once. They still held the top two spots. The young Austrian made it a 20-for-20 day, leaving 24 seconds back with Peiffer on his shoulder.
Waving the Flag; Embracing Tarjei
Johannes pushed hard enough on the last loop to enjoy the stadium when he returned. On the loop behind the shooting range, he took a flag from a fan, put his arms out wide on the last bump and wildly waved it down the finish stretch. He turned and waited as Tarjei crossed in second; the brothers embraced. Peiffer passed Leitner on the last loop to secure third place.
Days Off Helped
Tarjei who had a cold earlier in the week admitted that the days off probably helped him today. “The end of the season is a little different from the start; everyone is tired so a little sickness is good. You are really relaxing at home. I needed a race yesterday to wake up and today was good.”
Peiffer, with his fifth individual podium this season only missed one of his goals this season. “I know that I cannot fight for Globes, but I can be on the podium and fight for some medals, so I am completely satisfied with my season. I did want to get 90% overall in shooting but have like 88%, but that is the only goal I missed.”
Simon Fourcade Retires
After today’s pursuit, French veteran Simon Fourcade officially retired, leaving the sport 16 years after he became the IBU Junior Individual World Champion in 2003. Although the older Fourcade brother never won an individual World Cup title, he was on six victorious relay teams and two winning mixed relays. Filled with emotion, he commented on leaving the sport that has meant so much to him. “Biathlon is a main part of my story that is why I want to say that I lived the best years of my life in this job. Thanks to everyone…It is hard for me to retire today but I am sure that I will not stay far from biathlon. Everyone was a part of my story here, so thanks a lot.”