Runaway Win for Austria in Single Mixed Relay
The Austrian Team of Lisa Theresa Hauser and Simon Eder won the season-opening single mixed relay this afternoon at the Swedish National Biathlon Arena in 36:17. A brilliant shooting performance of just two spare rounds put them `16.5 seconds ahead of Germany’s Vanessa Hinz/Erik Lesser duo, with nine spares. Third place went to surprising Kazakhstan with Galena Vishnevskaya and Maxim Braun, 32.7 seconds back with five spares.
Defending Östersund titlist France finished fourth, 33.7 seconds back, with ten spares, while the home team Sweden was fifth, 34.3 seconds back, with nine spares. Sixth went to Ukraine, 34.9 seconds back, also with ten spares.
The new season kicked off with 23 teams on the start under cloudy skies, with the temperature just at freezing and light winds on the shooting range.
Kazakhstan and Austria
The first leg was the typical shakeout. Kazakhstan with Galina Vishnevskaya took the early lead with solid shooting and a good run on the tracks. Still, the top teams were moving into position. By the first exchange, Austria’s Lisa Theresa Hauser, with just a single spare, with a mere.2 seconds behind the Kazakh, with Canada in third and Germany just behind. Hauser’s teammate Simon Eder took control on his leg with typical fast accurate shooting, using just a single spare. Erik Lesser moved Germany up to the second spot, with an equally strong leg, but was 12 seconds back at the next exchange. Thomas Bormolini moved Italy up to the third spot.
Even after the second exchange, nothing was completely decided, except possibly Austria’s domination. Hauser had another single spare shooting performance, but this did little to slow down her and Eder’s victory run. Sweden’s Linn Persson brought her team into the mix with a clean shooting to move up to second heading to the final exchange, just 5.7 seconds behind Hauser. At this point, Germany had slipped back to sixth after four spare rounds by Vanessa Hinz, allowing Ukraine and surprising Kazakhstan to move into third and fourth positions.
10-for-10 and Victory
Eder on the anchor leg slammed the door on the other teams with another shooting clinic of ten shots fired, ten targets closed, to run away with the victory. Behind him, there was a big battle for the other podium spots, with eventually five teams in the mix. After the last standing, Maxim Braun of Kazakhstan left in second, but just .1 seconds ahead of Lesser. The German poured on the speed over the last loop to finish second with Braun in third. France, Sweden and Ukraine all closed fast finishing within two seconds of third place Kazakhstan.
Eder: “Sometimes You Feel Good”
Eder commented on the win and his shooting. “The hope was to finish in top 3; winning of course it's even great. The last shooting felt amazing! I think I've been shooting fast, just the first standing was slower, but you need to slow down at times…Sometimes you feel good and sometimes you are afraid when you come to the range and today I felt good.”
Single Mixed Relay Rookie
Germany’s Hinz was satisfied with her single mixed relay debut. “I was very nervous before the race. I never did a single mixed relay before. I'm very satisfied with my competition, perhaps one or two fewer mistakes. Her teammate Lesser praised the Austrian duo. “Austria was always in front of us, they shot so well today.
Thrilled in Third
Braun was thrilled with his team’s third place. “This summer we worked really, really hard; *this is a fantastic beginning of the season for us!” *