Sergii Semenov and Stefanie Scherer take IBU Cup short individuals
Sergii Semenov of Ukraine missed once on his way to a win in the men's 15 km short individual at the IBU Cup 3 in Obertilliach, finishing in 40:36.9. Later in the day, clean-shooting Stefanie Scherer of Germany became first in the women's 12.5 km short individual in 39:40.2.
Men short individual
Said Karimulla Khalili of Russia finished fourth with one penalty, 1:20.2 behind. France’s Martin Perrillat Bottonet also missed once to finish fifth, 1:31.1 back, while Sindre Fjellheim Jorde with two penalties took sixth place in his first-ever IBU Cup start, finishing 1:44.5 behind.
On a cloudy and windless day, 129 men lined up to battle for the podium in the short individual competition, a new discipline that was tested last year at the IBU Cup in Arber. Starting the competition with an early start number 4, which today became an advantage, Semenov was accurate at the first two shootings, which saw him taking the lead. Despite one mistake in the second prone and collecting an extra 45 seconds, the Ukrainian held his first position, which was strengthened even more after the final standing, where he was perfect. With no other athletes from the top of the standings shooting clean and with the track getting slower, Semenov crossed the finish with a confident advantage, unchallenged by anyone.
🇺🇦S.Semenov, "Lately, I'm quite sure in the shooting, plus today I had good skiing, even though in the morning I was not sure if I would start at all because I had a bit of a cough. Luckily, I went for a start, I won and I am really glad about that!" 😊— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) December 18, 2019
📸: Evgeny Tumashov pic.twitter.com/EA3FNCi1V2
Second podium in second short individual
Another early bib 18 Fratzscher missed once in each standing stage, leaving for the final lap in third, but only 4 seconds behind Birkeland. Giving his all in the last 500 meters, the German overcame the Norwegian, taking his second 2nd place in the only two-ever IBU Cup short individuals ever conducted. Birkeland, who took two wins in Ridnaun with a great shooting result, today was accurate in the first two stages, but collected an extra 45 seconds in the third and fourth bouts. This saw him taking the second position after the final standings, which he did not manage to hold until the finish, crossing the line 10 seconds behind Fratzscher.
Women’s Short Individual
Second place in the women’s competition went to another accurate shooter Anastasiya Merkushyna of Ukraine, 56.8 seconds behind. Scherer’s teammate Anna Weidel finished third with a single penalty, 1:04.2 back.
Ukraine’s Olga Abramova had one miss and finished fourth, 1:23.4 behind. Ingela Andersson of Sweden was fifth with two penalties, 1:41.1 back. Another German Karoline Horchler also missed twice and took sixth place, 1:53.2 behind.
Could not qualify
Like Semenov in the men’s competition, bib 91 Scherer took the lead after the second shooting and was only enlarging her advantage until the finish. For the young German, who could not qualify to the national team for the first international competitions, the IBU Cup season started just today. She started it perfectly well, with her first-ever win.
🇩🇪S.Scherer, "I started my #IBU_Cup season only today and it was a crazy race for me. I am really happy about the win. At the final shooting, I was nervous a bit, but everything went well and I managed to clean all targets at the end!"— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) December 18, 2019
📸: Evgeny Tumashov pic.twitter.com/LD7p5t0ctt
Early bib 8 Merkushyna, who was only 9th after the first prone, improved her standing after each stage. For the final lap, she left in second place, managing to keep it until the finish line. Unlike her rivals, Weidel made one mistake at the last standing, collecting 45 additional seconds. That saw her dropping to the osition and taking the final podium spot.
Photos: Evgeny Tumashov