Uliana Kaisheva and Endre Stroemsheim take IBU Cup sprints
Clean-shooting Uliana Kaisheva of Russia won the women's sprint at IBU Cup 6 in Martell in 22:37.3. Later in the day, Endre Stroemsheim of Norway took a win in the men's sprint despite a penalty in 24:35.2.
Kaisheva’s teammates Ekaterina Glazyrina, the current IBU Cup total score leader, and Anna Nikulina matched each other on the shooting range with one penalty, finishing fourth and fifth, 27.5 and 30.5 seconds back, respectively. Maren Hammerschmidt of Germany took sixth place with perfect shooting, 40.0 seconds back.
On a clear and bright day, 94 women kicked off the women's sprint under very comfortable weather conditions with no wind at the shooting range. Starting the competition at a moderate tempo and saving the power for last loop, Kaisheva was just 22nd after the prone stage. After standing, she moved up to fourth position, nevertheless, lost 22.6 seconds to the leader. With just1.4 km to go, the Russian was already second, but still 16 seconds behind. Giving her all, she literally flew over the final kilometer, not only reducing the time, but also crossing the finish line with almost a 10-second lead.
🇷🇺U.Kaisheva, "Today I started the competition a little bit slower than usual, just to save some powers for the final lap. At the shooting range, there was no wind at all, so I managed to take advantage of that."— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) February 8, 2020
📸: @foto_deubert pic.twitter.com/0mhKkx0sxH
World Cup regular Hildebrand took a 14.3-second advantage over her closest rival after the standing stage, keeping the lead until the last split point. in the final kilometer, with a steep uphill before the finish, she was unable manage to keep first place, taking the second position. Slivko, who left the stadium in second after standing, was a bit slower than her rivals, crossing the line in third.
Behind Stroemsheim, second place went to a clean-shooting Martin Perrillat Bottonet, who missed his first senior win by mere .9 seconds. Another accurate shooter Lucas Fratzscher of Germany finished third, 7.1 seconds back.
Norway’s Sivert Guttorm Bakken became fourth, 7.5 seconds behind, his teammate Sindre Fjellheim Jorde took fifth place, 11.6 seconds back, while Tero Seppala of Finland finished sixth, 11.9 seconds behind. All three shot clean.
Securing total score lead
After a penalty in standing, Stroemsheim left the stadium just 17.7 seconds behind the leading Bakken. By the next split point, he had already moved to third position with a 4.6-second gap from the first. In the final meters, he managed to increase his speed and crossed the line in first, taking his third victory of the season and securing first position in the Men's IBU Cup Total Score.
🇳🇴E.Stroemsheim, "Today I felt really good from the beginning, but I tried not to ski too hard on the first 2 laps, so I had something to go with on the last loop. And it worked out with a 0.9-advantage, so I'm very happy!"— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) February 8, 2020
📸: @foto_deubert pic.twitter.com/OHYp4NVMFU
Being one of the fastest skiers today, Perrillat Bottonet easily reduced a 13.3-second gap he had after the standing shooting. That was just enough to take second place and to improve his personal-best. Leaving less than a second behind his French rival, on the final lap Fratzscher was not as fast as Perrillat Bottonet, finishing 6 seconds behind to take the last podium spot.
Photos: Harald Deubert