Sprint Win for Bened; Men Sprint Postponed

After a series of missed podiums during the two weeks in Brezno-Osrblie, Camille Bened of France pulled off a perfect performance, shootig clean, and finishing in 19:51.2 as well as being among the fastest on the course, Bened claimed a well-deserved first-ever IBU Cup win after making it to the top six, but just missing out on the podium more than once this season. Clean-shooting Evgeniia Burtasova of Russia finished second, 13.4 seconds back. Natalia Gerbulova, after a perfect shooting day, claimed third place, 18.2 seconds back. Due to heavy wind bursts, the men's competition was postponed until tomorrow, January 15th.

First-ever senior win for Bened 

Known for her good shooting skills, the ruling IBU World Junior Champion in the individual, Bened has been amongst the favourites throughout the season. She started her competition with a confident prone stage, the fastest to close all five targets, but nevertheless was in second, just .6 behind Joanne Reid of the USA who was the fastest on the tracks. Gerbulova was third, 2.2 seconds back, Burtasova fourth, 4.1 seconds back. Close to them was also Sweden’s Sara Andersson who was at that time fifth, 6.4 seconds back. 

With five athletes within five seconds after the prone stage, anything was still possible. All needed a clean standing stage to stay in the fight for the shiniest place. Bened pushed herself into the lead by the standing stage, Colombo, after her clean prone, had climbed to second. The Russian duo, having lost speed, fell to fifth and sixth. Usually a fast shooter, Bened took her time in standing making it sure that she would take the lead. Being an early starter and claiming the early lead, she still had to keep an eye on her competitors as most  of the strongest athletes were yet to complete their shooting. Reid picked up a penalty while Colombo and Andersson both missed twice. Burtasova and Gerbulova however managed to close all the standing targets placing second and third. 

Leaving standing, Burtasova was only 6 seconds behind Bened and knowing the Russian athletes are usually among the fastest, the pressure was still on. With Burtasova losing time on the last loop, Bened proved to be the best woman of the day claiming her first-ever senior win. Burtasova finished in second, Gerbulova in third. 

Bened, commented, "In the morning I wasn’t sure that I could do a good race because in the individual it was really difficult for me. I finished 49 I think and I had to do the best race I can today. I didn’t hope to do that here this morning. It’s crazy - it is my first win IBU Cup and I’m really happy."

The clean-shooters in the top six included Gilonne Guigonnat of France in fourth place, 25.9 seconds back. Great Britain’s Amanda Lightfoot in fifth, 30.8 seconds back and Norway’s Jenny Enodd in sixth place, 31.3 seconds back. 

Men’s sprint postponed until the 15th of January

Due to the heavy wind burst at the Brezno-Osrblie biathlon venue, the Jury decided to postpone the men's sprint until tomorrow resulting in a schedule change for the final day of the IBU Cup 5.

  • Men's sprint starts at 10:30

  • Women's pursuit starts at 13:45

  • Men's pursuit is cancelled

Header iconIBU Cup 5 Brezno-Osrblie Women's Sprint

Photos: Igor Stancik 

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