Super Sprint Wins to Karolin Horchler and Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen
Karolin Horchler of Germany became the first athlete to win the new competition format, known as super sprint. The German was accurate on the shooting range and fast on the track to get the victory in 15:08.5. In the men’s super sprint, the first win went to Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen of Norway who used three spares to finish in 13:14.7.
The first competition day at IBU Cup 8 in Khanty-Mansiysk kicked off with the introduction of a new discipline, the super sprint, which premiered on the international IBU event level. The competition is composed of two parts, the qualification and finals, which were conducted today.
The women started the day with the 2.4K super sprint qualification, where Johanna Skottheim of Sweden finished first with two used spares during the prone and standing stages in 8:41.3. Italy’s clean-shooting Alexia Runggaldier was second, 1.2 seconds behind, while Tamara Voronina of Russia was third, 5.9 seconds back. In the men’s qualification, Russia’s Eduard Latypov shot perfect to finish first in 7:41.4; he was followed by Aslak Nenseter of Norway in second with no spares, 1.3 seconds behind, third place went to Latypov’s teammate Petr Pashchenko with two used spares, 1.7 seconds back.
Women’s Super Sprint
In the women’s super sprint, second place went to Karoline’s sister Nadine Horchler, who used one spare, finishing 10.7 seconds behind. Russia’s Tamara Mironova became third also with one spare, 16.8 seconds back.
Fourth went to Mironova's teammate Evgeniya Pavlova, who missed the podium by mere .2 seconds. Austria’s Susanne Hoffmann finished fifth, 34.1 seconds behind, while the winner of the qualification Johanna Skottheim finished sixth, 35.7 seconds back.
Podium For Sisters
In the afternoon, the 30 best women from the qualification started simultaneously in the final to compete for the first set of medals over a distance of 4K with four shooting ranges. Great shooter Karolin Horchler started the competition with two perfect stages and followed Russia’s Kristina Reztsova, who was in the lead. At the first standing, while the Russian was using all spares, Horchler cleaned the targets and topped the standings. Voronina left the stadium in second, 8.5 seconds behind with Nadine in third. They cleaned the final stage and left in the same order, but more experienced Nadine was faster on the last 800m loop and overtook the rival, finishing just behind the sister. At the same time, Voronina was battling with the teammate for the last podium spot. Finishing .2 seconds ahead of Pavlova, Voronina took her first senior medal.
K.Horchler, "I am super happy to win a new discipline. It was a very fast and fun competition. I was calm today during the shooting and it was not hard for me to clean despite the wind on the range."— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) March 14, 2018
📸 IBU/E.Tumashov#IBU_Cup pic.twitter.com/t6ArfMeBMP
Men’s Super Sprint
Behind Christiansen, Austria’s Lorenz Waeger finished second in the men’s competition with a single spare, 6.1 seconds behind. Junior category athlete Vasilii Tomshin of Russia, used two spare rounds the way to his first senior level medal, 8.3 seconds back.
Fourth place went to Christiansen's teammate Vegard Gjermundshaug, 15.7 seconds behind, France’s Jean Guillaume Beatrix finished fifth, 16.5 seconds back, while Petr Pashchenko of Russia finished sixth, 16.9 seconds behind.
First Senior Start
Christiansen started the competition with one extra spare in the first shooting stage, leaving the stadium 13.2 seconds behind the leader. At the second stage, despite one more spare, the Norwegian moved to second, with Tomshin, Waeger and four more athletes staying within 10 seconds. A clean standing stage from Christiansen and the Austrian saw them move to the first two positions with a gap of 8.8 seconds, while Tomshin used one spare and was fifth. Despite one additional spare from the Norwegian, he stayed on top; Waeger followed him 7.2 seconds later. The young Russian, who was only 27th in the qualification with a penalty and three spares, shot more accurately in the final, leaving for the last lap in third, 17.9 seconds behind. They finished in the same order. Waeger took his first medal this season, while Tomshin, who recently won two Gold medals at the IBU Youth/Junior World Championships in Otepaa, today climbed to the podium in his first-ever senior start.
After the finish, Christiansen commented, “The loop in this competition is very short but also it is very tough; the hill in front of the shooting range is very big, so it is really tactical to decide if you want to push hard on the hill and earn some seconds there, or to be a little bit slower, but to have ”good legs” on the shooting range. Today I tried to use both tactics.” And, with a wide smile, he added, “But none of it worked!”
V.S.Christiansen, "It was very exciting and intense new discipline with a shoulder-to-shoulder battle both on the track and the shooting range. I really liked this format, it fits me."— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) March 14, 2018