Monika Hojnisz-Starega of Poland missed a prone shot, but cleaned standing quickly and flew around the last loop to win the IBU SB WCH Women’s 6 km Sprint Gold medal in 16:56.4. The victory gave Hojnisz-Starega her tenth SB WCH medal. Michal Krcmar of the Czech Republic after missing the podium by one place in yesterday’s Men’s Super Sprint responded today with 10-for-10 shooting to win the Men’s 7.5 km Sprint Gold medal in 19:18.5.
Hojnisz-Starega who turned 30 yesterday did not feel in top form today, but still managed to pick up the win in the stadium where she won an IBU WCH Bronze medal 8 years ago. “When I started, I did not feel so good. Then I was told my ski tine was good, but I was still worried about my standing shooting as lately I ‘ve had some problems. When I cleaned, I was very happy…Yesterday we celebrated my birthday but only a little because of the race today. My sister made a cake; maybe that is why I was so fast today!”
Feelings and Second Sprint Title at Home
Krcmar commented at the finish that like Hojnisz-Starega, he did not feel art his best today. “Now it feels good but my feeling on the tracks was not so good. I concentrated on my work on the shooting range; making zeros was important today.”
Regarding the last loop and his second IBU SBWCH Sprint title in his home stadium, he added, “I got the information that I was behind the Slovakia guy by four second so I pushed maximum. I tried and did it…It is an amazing feeling like three years ago and good motivation for the preparation for the winter.”
Marketa Davidova after taking the Super Sprint Gold medal shot clean today, but settled for the Silver medal, 11.1 seconds back. Polona Klemencic of Slovenia also shot clean, taking the Bronze medal, 21 seconds back.
RBU’s Margarita Vasileva, with one penalty, finished fourth, 25.3 seconds back. Super Sprint Silver medalist Yulia Dzhima of Ukraine, with one penalty finished fifth, 38.5 seconds back. Suvi Minkkinen of Finland, also with one penalty finished sixth, 1:06.7 back.
Davidova Delights Fans
The sun came out and the pesky wind stayed away for the women’s late afternoon start.
Super Sprint Champion Davidova looked like the woman to beat when she confidently cleaned the prone stage, delighting the fans in the stands. Just after her, Klemencic matched, putting her less than two seconds back. Late starter Vasileva matched and topped her more well-known rivals to move 11 seconds up on the field, making her case for a podium spot.
Hojnisz-Starega Jumps into Lead
In standing, “I always miss the last shot” Davidova proved herself wrong by carefully turning all the targets white and laying down the gauntlet for her rivals. However, number 8 Hojnisz-Starega was in no mood to roll over. After missing a prone shot, she cleaned standing much faster than her Czech rival, leaving with a tenuous one second lead. Klemencic also cleaned, leaving in third, a half dozen seconds behind the leader from Poland. Super Sprint Silver medalist Dzhima shot a fast 5-for-5 to move into fourth, just behind Klemencic. Vasileva closed her first four targets very fast, but hesitated for a long time before missing the last shot and falling to fourth, just ahead of Dzhima
Sealing the Win
By the 5.1 km split, Hojnisz-Starega’s lead was up to nine seconds, She added a couple of more seconds to seal the victory, pushing the local favorite into second. Klemencic had a steady last loop, holding her podium spot, as Vasileva slowed remaining in fourth, unable to move ahead of the Slovenian.
Krcmar’s Gold medal gave the home team its fourth medal on Sprint Saturday and its second Gold medal after Tomas Mikyska won the Junior Sprint this morning. Matej Baloga of Slovakia matched Krcmar’s clean shooting, taking the Silver medal, 10.2 seconds back. Romania’s Cornel Puchianu with two penalties won the Bronze medal, 23.1 seconds back.
Florent Claude of Belgium, with one penalty finished fourth, 27.8 seconds back. Baloga’s teammate Michal Sima, also with a single penalty finished fifth, 31.2 seconds back with sixth place going to Grzegorz Guzik, shooting clean, 34.7 seconds back.
Krcmar’s Big Lead
After missing a prone shot, Claude rebounded with five perfect shots in stranding to move to the top of the leaderboard. Trush, after his leading prone stage. missed a standing shot, falling back to third position. Krcmar came to standing with a 25-second lead and responded with five steady perfect shots, retaining his cushion over his Belgian rival. The Czech star’s lead seemed solid until Baloga, fifth after the prone stage, matched his rival one-upping him by 4.2 seconds.
Krcmar and Baloga
Super Sprint Bronze medalist Claude held his own on the last loop for the early lead. The battle for Gold left him behind as Krcmar and Baloga skied the last loop. With 900 meters to go, Krcmar was in control, on his way to victory with a six-second lead over Baloga who finished second. Puchianu, 29th after two prone penalties, cleaned standing and followed up with a blazing last loop to take the last podium spot, putting Claude 4.7 seconds short of the medals.
The IBU SB WCH conclude tomorrow with pursuit competitions in all categories.
Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni