Kirkeeide with a single penalty finished 12.2 seconds ahead of France’s Paula Botet, with one penalty in second place. Clean-shooting Khrystyna Dmytrenko of Ukraine finished third, 30.6 seconds back. Jenny Enodd of Norway, with one penalty, 55.5 seconds back. Kristina Oberthaler of Austria, with one penalty finished fifth, 1:01.7 back. A third Norwegian Marthe Krakstad Johansen, also with one penalty finished sixth, 1:02.2 back.
"The Joy of Biathlon
The win was especially satisfying for Horn, the IBU Summer Biathlon Super Sprint World Champion. “It was really great out there today because yesterday’s training was a hard one for me. I was a little bit disappointed afterwards because I was not able to shoot as I wanted. That is the joy of biathlon. Today. it worked out perfectly 10-out-of-10. That has not happened so often in my career so I am really happy.”
Behind Horn, Vebjoern Soerum of Norway, with one penalty, finished second. 15.2 seconds back. His teammate, Johan-Olav Botn, with one penalty finished third, 52 seconds back.
Horn’s teammate Simon Kaiser, with two penalties finished in fourth, 56.1 seconds back. Norwegians Martin Uldal and Aleksander Fjeld Anderson, with three and two penalties, finished fifth and sixth, 1:04.9 and 1:10 back, respectively.
After a two-day delay due to the extremely cold weather, IBU Cup 7 got under way this morning with the temperature up to -10C, and some sunshine breaking through the clouds by the time the men started at mid-day. A stiff wind blowing directly at the firing line accompanied the warmer temperature, making shooting a challenge for both the women and the men who started three hours later.
Kirkeeide and Oberthaler both easily cleaned the prone stage early, with Botet wearing number 40 topping them both late in the competition. The Ukrainian followed less than eight seconds from the top of the prone standings.
Kirkeeide came to standing with the wind whipping and missed a shot. Dmytrenko, next into standing topped the Norwegian, leaving with a 5.4 second lead, but she struggled in the last loop, falling well behind the Norwegian. Kirkeeide commented on her skiing that led to her third win of the season. “It was really hard on the shooting range, but I had a lot of power on the last loop.”
Botet’s Shaking Legs
Botet, with a chance for the win, came to standing, shot very carefully, but single miss took away her chance for the win. Still, her second place put her atop the IBU Cup Sprint Score with one competition remaining. She admitted that standing was a struggle. “The shooting in standing was very hard. When I missed the standing shot, my legs were shaking. I was very nervous before the race, thinking it would be really hard, but it actually was not that bad.”
Horn had a great first loop, shot fast and clean in prone to take the early lead and basically never looked back. Soerum was not going to let Horn run away with the competition, also cleaned just 3 seconds behind the German. Horn stayed on fire in standing, again blowing the targets away, retaining the lead, heading into the last loop.
Soerum had a chance to take the lead in standing. He shot fast but missed the last one, leaving 14 seconds back and was unable to close the gap on the last loop. The Norwegian was frustrated with the missed shot. “I would like to have that shot back. I had a chance to win; it was really frustrating to win. But Philipp had a great race and deserved the victory.”
Botn after a penalty in each stage, left standing in fifth but with a strong last loop moved up to finish third in his first IBU Cup start since Idre after recovering from Covid-19 last November.
Photos: IBU/Harald Deubert