Arnekleiv and Soerum take Sprint 2 in Obertilliach

Juni Arnekleiv and Vebjoern Soerum, both of Norway, are the winners of the Sprint 2 at the IBU Cup in Obertilliach. For Arnekleiv it was a first-ever IBU Cup win.

Vanessa Hinz of Germany, one of the essential members of Germany’s women’s team in the last decade and multiple relay medal winner at the BMW IBU World Championships and Olympic Winter Games, called it a career.

Arnekleiv does Johannes and wins

Arnekleiv missed once in each of the shooting stages but flew around the tracks in Obertilliach like a rocket for her first-ever IBU Cup win in 20:52.1. Fuyuko Tachizaki of Japan shot 10/10 and showed one of her best Sprints in last few years for a second place, 5.9 seconds back. It was a good omen before the BMW IBU World Championships Oberhof 2023 for Tachizaki. Selina Grotian, with 9/10, finished third, 10.1 seconds behind the Norwegian winner.

“My skiing today was crazy. I felt light on the skis and managed to ski off two penalty loops for a win. It came unexpectedly, as there was no wind, and I was sure somebody with 10/10 would win,” said Arnekleiv.

Gilonne Guigonnat of France, with 10/10, finished fourth, 13.7 seconds begin Arnekleiv. Ella Halvarsson of Sweden, with a clean sheet, finished fifth, 22.3 seconds back. Paula Botet of France missed one shot in the standing and completed the Flower Ceremony podium in sixth place, 27 seconds behind the winner.

Tilda Johansson kept her lead in the IBU Cup Total Score standings with 722 points, 78 ahead of Guigonnat, a promise for a close battle in Canmore.

Header iconIBU Cup Obertilliach - Sprints 2

Soerum vs Stroemsheim 1:1

Soerum, missing once in the prone but skiing a phenomenal final lap, won in the Sprint 2 at the IBU Cup in Obertilliach. His teammate Endre Stroemsheim, the winner of Sprint1, finished second, and Anton Ivarsson of Sweden third.

Soerum clocked the 15th time after missing the last shot in the prone stage. With his skiing speed at the world-class level, he pushed hard in the tracks, cleared all five targets in the standing, and transformed 13.8 seconds deficit before the last lap into a 9.6-second lead over Stroemsheim. He won in 22:16.1. Ivarsson, with 9/10, scored his first-ever IBU Cup podium, 23 seconds behind Soerum.

“I was cross with myself after the one miss in the prone. It was a windless day and perfect for 10/10. I felt adrenaline rising in the second lap, and as I saw that Endre was 14 seconds ahead of me after the second shooting, I pushed my body and skis to the limit. Seven podiums out of eight competitions in the IBU Cup is very satisfying,” said Soerum.

Filip Fjeld Andersen of Norway missed one shot and finished fourth, 31.9 seconds back. Marco Gross of Germany, with 10/10, finished fifth, 43.4 seconds behind Soerum. It was a season-best for Gross. His teammate Lukas Fratzscher with 9/10, finished sixth, 46.3 seconds behind Soerum.

Stroemsheim has 1.051 points atop IBU Cup Total Score standings before the last five competitions in a two-week season’s finale in Canmore, Canada. Mats Oeverby is 307 points behind.

Photo: IBU/H. Deubert

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