“Bit nervous, bit cold”
Simon admitted the victory was hard fought, especially in the last standing stage. “It was a bit cold. It was quite difficult to start in front. I did not know if I pushed hard enough or if I was fast or not. It was not easy in the standing shooting, but finally it was okay. A bit nervous, a bit cold, a bit of everything but happy with this race.”
“Happy with this race”
Although she crossed the finish line, relays are a collective effort. “It is really nice. It is one thing to perform individually, but all the team, all the staff are all working for us. So, it’s pretty special. I think everyone is happy with this race.
Norway with ten spares finished second, 9.3 seconds back. Sweden, with a penalty and eight spares finished third, 33.5 seconds back. Fourth, fifth and sixth placed Italy, Germany and Czechia all suffered with penalties due to the strong wind and fatigue from the previous days of tough conditions, finishing 3:33.9, 4:20.6 and 4:39.6 back respectively.
The 18 women’s relay teams faced a challenging day with strong winds and cold conditions left the tracks in better shape. The wind buffeted almost everyone into using spares in the first prone stage, save early leaders Poland and Czechia; favorites Norway, Germany and Sweden trailed by just a few seconds. Jeanmonnot cleaned standing leaving in the lead, with Anna Magnusson taking control, tagging Persson 2.3 seconds ahead of Braisaz-Bouchet at the first exchange.
Persson’s fast clean prone gave Sweden a 10-second lead over her rivals who used spares. Braisaz-Bouchet, leading into standing used all three spares; Persson used one, going out with her 20-second lead evaporating when the World Cup Total Score leader flew to a 4.3 second lead over the Swede by the time she tagged Chauveau, with Norway another 25 seconds back. Chauveau extended the French lead with a six-shot prone stage; Hanna went to the penalty loop.
The wind played havoc in standing. The leader used three spares, but still tagged Simon 21.9 seconds ahead of Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold, with Elvira, 46 seconds back.
Five fast prone shots and Simon was gone. Tandrevold matched, falling 27 seconds back with Elvira 51 seconds back. Simon’s three spares in standing secured the victory, with Tandrevold chasing in second and Sweden third.
Photos: IBU/Svoboda, Nordic Focus