Anamarija Lampič switched from cross-country to biathlon last Spring and fell in love with the new sport on the spot. She started learning standing shooting in September, but only in her running shoes, not moving, and made her official debut two weeks ago at the IBU Cup in Idre Fjall, finishing sixth in the Sprint. With skiing times out of this world, she reluctantly accepted her coaches’ idea to start in the Hochfilzen Sprint. Yes, she missed three times. But she remarkably out-skied the field, finishing fifth. She was, expectedly, overwhelmed.
With third place in the Sprint, Julia Simon took the lead in the World Cup Total Score standings for the first time in her career, becoming the first French woman to wear a Yellow Bib since Justine Braisaz-Bouchet almost precisely five years ago. She then continued to push the bar higher for others with another win in the Pursuit and an 18-seconds-only performance in the deciding shooting in the Women’s relay, anchoring France to the first team win of the season.
Hochfilzen was many years a venue that troubled Denise Herrmann-Wick, an Olympic and World champion. Before last season, she finished as low as 60th in the Sprint and finished in the Top 10 for the first time last season, when she was 7th in the Pursuit. Why it took this season’s Sprint winner so long? Listen to what she had to say.
Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen, the anchor of the winning Norwegian men’s relay team, found himself alone and lonely on the shooting range with last five targets waiting for him. Always outspoken, Vetle explained why sometimes too much time on your hands means plenty of troubles . . . and an unwanted penalty loop. Oh, and please excuse his language!
The IBU Junior Cup started in Martell-Val Martello last week with three different Junior women winners and four athletes challenging each other for the Junior CupTotal Score lead: Sara Scattolo of Italy won in the Sprint, Johanna Puff of Germany the Super Sprint, and Anna Andexer of Austria the Mass start 60, while Maya Cloetens of Belgium finished second twice and sixth once. They travel to Obertilliach with five points between the current leader Scattolo and jointly third Andexer and Cloetens.
Photo: IBU/C. Manzoni, J. Walter, H. Deubert