The day started with a one-minute silence held in the honour of the victims of the war in Ukraine and continued with the men's 10 km sprint competition. In the men’s competition, it was Norway’s Johannes Dale with one penalty winning in 23:59.8. In the women’s 7.5 km sprint, Italy's Michela Carrara with one penalty won in 24:11.2.
It was a double podium for the Norwegians as Endre Stroemsheim, also after missing once in prone, came in second, 22.7 seconds back. After two penalties in total and 58.4 seconds behind the winner, Germany’s Lucas Fratzscher closed the podium.
Fast skis save the day
Johannes Dale was by far the fastest skier today, giving him an advantage from early on. Although he eventually won, Dale was in the sixth position after missing once in prone. At the same time, Justus Strelow pushed himself to the first position after closing all five prone targets. France’s Emilien Claude had also a promising start; he cleaned the prone stage leaving second, only 3.7 seconds behind Strelow. Stroemsheim missed once in prone in eighth, 23.4 seconds behind the leading German. Fratzscher was as far back as 16th after the first round.
The standing stage changed the competition completely. Strelow missed once while Dale and Stroemsheim closed all five standing targets, the German was pushed to the third place, Dale took the lead and Stroemsheim was 3.7 seconds back. Rivail, despite clearing was no match for the speed of the top three men placing fourth. Fratzscher, however, missed once, but still managed to push himself on the fifth after completing the penalty loop.
The final loop to decide the order of affairs regarding the podium places. Dale, unstoppable on the skis, widened his advantage over the competitors even more claiming his first individual win of the season.
Dale was very happy to win: “I have to say that this is one of the victories that I am most satisfied with because the last months have not been so easy. To finally make a good race, it’s a very nice feeling for me. It was very nice for me to have a good race in the end of the season. Now the plan is to still to do races here and hopefully I get a chance to race in the World Cup again. I miss the guys at the World Cup and I really want to compete there again.”
Three top six places for Norway.
Stroemsheim held on to second until the end, Fratzscher, the second fastest man on the final loop, climbed to third.
Just missing the podium, Germany’s Justus Strelow and Norway’s Haavard Gutuboe Bogetveit tied for fourth; Strelow with one and Bogetveit two penalties, 1:01.2 back. France’s clean-shooting Hugo Rivail completed the top six, 1:15.8 back.
After a clean prone, Norway’s Karoline Erdal missed once in standing giving her second place, 9.2 seconds back. Just .1 seconds behind Erdal, France’s Caroline Colombo, with two penalties finished third.
From Beijing to Lenzerheide
The prone stage was a success for the French team. Colombo and Lou Jeanmonnot both closed all five prone targets placing first and second respectively. Karoline Erdal was not far behind. After a clean prone as well, the Norwegian was third, 11.3 seconds behind Colombo. Carrara, the winner-to-be, fell to 19th after missing once, 46.4 seconds behind.
Colombo, a fast skier, kept the lead at the start of the second shooting round having an 18.3 second lead over Germany’s Hanna Kebinger who was up to second. Colombo failed to close the standing targets with two penalties, the door opened for the clean shooters to take the lead. Erdal, despite missing once, claimed the lead after standing; Carrara cleaned, rising to third, 3.2 seconds behind Erdal and 3 seconds behind Norway’s Jenny Enodd who, with 10/10, had pushed herself to second position. Colombo left the shooting range in fourth, 5 seconds behind Erdal.
Like in the men’s competition, everything was still possible; the odds favoured those who managed to show better ski times. While Erdal was still first in the 5.9 km split time, Carrara passed Enodd moving to second, 1.9 seconds back. As Erdal started to lose time, the Italian saw the chance to win. After proudly representing her country in Bejing, Carrara, with the third fastest ski time on the final loop, crossed the finish line as the winner.
Michela Carrara on her win: “I’m so happy about the win. It was the best race this year, it feels really good to finally catch a podium and a victory. My competition was so good. My shooting went well and I’m really happy about this. On the skis it was difficult, the snow was really slow due to the warm weather, but in the end I did a good race.”
Chauveau - the fastest women of the day
Caroline Colombo, fifth after standing, managed to pass Enodd on the final loop taking tthird place, 9.3 seconds behind Carrara. The fastest woman of the day, France’s Sophie Chaveau with two penalties finished fourth, 16.7 seconds back. Norway’s Jenny Enodd finished fifth, with a clean shooting recordl 20.9 seconds back. Germany’s Hanna Kebinger, with two penalties was sixth, 23.4 seconds back.
Photos: Harald Deubert / IBU