Victoria Slivko and Fabien Claude Take IBU Cup Sprints
Victoria Slivko of Russia won the women’s 7.5K sprint in at IBU Cup 6 in Lenzerheide, finishing in 23:39.3. Later in the day, Fabien Claude of France finished first in the men’s sprint with one penalty in 25:42.0.
Fourth place went to Nadiia Bielkina of Ukraine with one penalty, 47.3 seconds behind. Another Russian Valeriia Vasnetcova finished fifth despite two penalties, 1:09.1 back. France’s Chloe Chevalier finished sixth with one miss, 1:12.6 behind. Selina GGasparin, in her comeback after pregnancy, missed twice in prone to finish 12th, 1:46.8 back.
Perfect winter sunny weather filled Lenzerheide stadium, surrounded by spectacular landscapes, set the stage for the first competition day. Prone shooting, with no wind gusts at the range, saw many zeroes. Chevalier was leading, while Kaisheva, Vasnetcova, Slivko, and Hettich followed her within 14 seconds.
V.Slivko, "The track here is very tough and during the competition, it was very hard. I don't know how I managed to win, maybe clean shooting was the key. I'm very happy to take third win in a row and the current first place in the #IBU_Cup Total Score."— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) January 24, 2019
The second shooting stage saw some changes in the standings. With later start number 62, Kaisheva hit 10-of-10 and left in first position; Slivko was just .7 seconds behind her. By the next split point Kaisheva, whose last international start was in mid-December at the World Cup in Hochfilzen, dropped to second. She gave everything in the final meters but finished behind Slivko who took her third win in a row. Hettich left in fourth after standing and moved to third at the finish. She took her first senior podium at the same venue, where she won her only junior medal.
Sergey Korastylev of Russia finished fourth, 21.8 seconds back. Lucas Fratzscher finished fifth, 27.6 seconds behind, while his teammate Philipp Horn was sixth, 28.9 seconds back. All three missed once.
Matched Each Other
By the start of the second competition, light wind gusts arose at the shooting range, resulting in more missed targets. After the prone stage, where Claude shot perfectly, he left the stadium 9.8 seconds behind Wiestner, who was in the lead with the same clean shooting. In standing, the Swiss and the French rivals matched each other with one miss but now Claude was .1 seconds ahead of Wiestner. Claude, who started the competition just 1:30 behind Wiestner, was fast on his skis at the final lap and increased his lead to 10.5 seconds at the finish. While Claude took his first podium of the season, while this medal was the first in Weistner's career.
🇫🇷@fabien_claude1 , "I started the season very bad, my shooting was awful and the results were not good. So I am very happy to be finally on the podium and to take a win! It's a great feeling!"— IBU Cup Biathlon (@IBU_CUP) January 24, 2019
Knowing the Results
Late bib 84 Dale was also perfect at the first shooting, leaving 2.4 seconds behind the leader. At the standing stage, the Norwegian collected one penalty, which saw him drop to the fifth place with 9.4 seconds gap from the first. Knowing the results of the rivals, Dale gave it all on the last leg and grabbed the final podium spot.
Photos: IBU/Vianney Thibaut