“So happy today”
Eckhoff was more than pleased to win in her home stadium. “I am so happy. It is something special here in Holmenkollen; it is the number one stadium for me. I did my first race here; I have trained so much here…It’s been three years since we competed here and it is especially to see my mom and my boyfriend; I am so happy!”
Last 500 meters
Regarding missing her last standing shot and her finishing burst of speed she added, “When I missed the last shot in standing, I thought, ‘this is too bad.’ So, I was very happy and lucky that I was number one today. There were very hard conditions there…once I found the target, I think I shot pretty fast…I think I did a good last 500 meters!”
Czech Republic’s Marketa Davidova shot clean in fourth place, 17.9 seconds back. France’s Anais Chevalier-Bouchet, matching Davidova on the range finished fifth, 40.3 seconds back. Davidova’s teammate Jessica Jislova, shot clean in sixth place, 54.2 seconds back.
During the Flower Ceremony, Finland’s Kaisa Makarainen and Norway’s Tora Berger were recognized as co-winners of the 2013/14 Women’s World Cup Total Score, with both now receiving matching big Crystal Globes.
Olsbu Roeiseland’s third place secured the World Cup Sprint Score small Crystal Globe for the Norwegian, the first of her career. She was almost like a kid with a new toy, after receiving the crystal trophy. “I am so happy to receive my first small globe; it is fantastic. It was actually really heavy. It was much bigger than I expected. I will find it a fine place at home. I am really proud of it.” Marketa Davidova also received her small Crystal Globe for winning the World Cup Individual Score that she sealed earlier at Antholz.
Today’s sprint ended the quest for the 2021/22 Women’s Nations Cup with Norway topping Sweden for the globe in a close battle 6856 points to 6765 points.
Just a typical early spring day at the legendary Holmenkollen for the eighty-one women starting the last sprint of the 2021/22 BMW IBU World Cup season. After rain and fog in the past two days, today blossomed with blue skies, a balmy +8C reading and strong winds on the shooting range, at times blowing in towards the firing line. Hauser kicked off the day with a clean prone and Olsbu Roeiseland matched a dozen seconds faster, only to be upped by Eckhoff by 1.9 seconds, setting up an early teammates’ duel with an Austrian flair. For all intents and purposes, this competition ended after start number 9 Eckhoff shot, because no one else ever seriously challenged for the lead or the podium. Davidova, Paulina Fialkova, and Denise Herrmann all had fast clean prone stages, but trailed the Norwegian duo by 14, 18 and 26 seconds and were never closer.
Hauser with number one cleaned standing with ease. Coming to standing with a big lead, the Yellow Bib shot cautiously but missed her last shot, ceding the lead to Hauser. Eckhoff, likewise missed a shot but came out of the range 1.9 seconds faster than Hauser. Davidova threw her hat in the ring by going 10-for-10, getting away just 5.8 seconds off the lead, while Chevalier-Bouchet did the same, moving to 11 seconds from the lead. Herrmann missed a shot, falling to 38 seconds back. Jislova continued to shoot well, equaling her teammate, 27seconds out.
In the last loop, Olsbu Roeiseland seemed to be missing her usual speed, remaining behind Hauser by 6 seconds with 600 meters to go. Meanwhile, Eckhoff took a 4-second lead by the 5.9 km split, ahead of both. Yet at the 6.9 km split, Eckhoff’s lead was down to less than two seconds, but she recovered on the loop behind the range to speed down the last 200 meters, finishing 7 seconds faster than Hauser. Davidova lost time in the last loop, missing the podium, while Chevalier-Bouchet, Herrmann and Jislova also slowed, falling short of the top three.
Hauser’s podium drought
Hauser, no fan of bib number one but was happy to start early with the snow softening as the afternoon progressed, finishing second and ending a long podium drought. “I do not like bib number one that much, but it was the best number for today because the tracks will get softer and softer. I was lucky with my bib number today. I am really happy with my podium. I managed the podium in Oestersund and had a good season but no podiums. Now in this last World Cup in Oslo, I managed it again, so it is really perfect for me.”
Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni