Femsteinevik and Babikov win IBU Cup mass start 60

Fresh snow covering the tracks, 60 men were ready to take on the mass start 60 competition in Sjusjoen Norway. One penalty from the first prone; Russia’s Anton Babikov makes it a golden double claiming the 15 km competition win in 41:33.6. On the women’s side, Norway’s Ragnhild Femsteinevik delivered the shiniest result, with one standing penalty, she finished in 40:21.2 taking the women's win. 

Men’s competition

After Babikov’s win, it was time to fight for the rest of the two podium places. In total of two misses for Erlend Bjoentegaard of Norway who claimed the second place, 23.8 seconds back. Two penalties also for Remi Broutier of France who with 49.3 seconds back finished in third. 

Second consecutive win for Babikov

Babikov showed that he is in a very good shape in yesterday's sprint and would compete for the highest step of the podium today. Cleaning the first prone gave him an advantage, leaving 5 seconds ahead of Germany’s Justus Strelow and 5.9 seconds ahead of Bjoentegaard.

Bjoentegaard didn’t let that intimidate him and closed the gap with Babikov by the start of the second prone. Arriving at the range side-by-side, both men missed once, but as Babikov shot faster, he took an 8.5-second lead over Bjoentegaard. Bjoentegaard, however, losing time with his penalty allowed David Zobel of Germany to climb to second after cleaning the second prone.

Starting the first standing in that exact order, Babikov was the one to close all five targets while Zobel earned two penalties, and Bjoentegaard one. From this moment on, Babikov held a strong more than 20-second lead for the rest of the competition. After a confident zero in the second standing, it was clear that Babikov is the one to take the win home. Although Bjoentegaard cleaned the last standing, Babikov was too far ahead. Babikov took the win while Bjoentegaard came in second, 23.8 seconds back.

Babikov was happy to win and hoped that it helps him to get back to the World Cup: “Today I felt much more tired so I understood that today it will be harder and that I need to think about the shooting and to try to make some good work on the track. If you have mistakes on the first shootings, it will be too hard on the track, so I tried to save my power. I hope that this will give me the chance for the World Cup.”

First IBU Cup podium for Broutier

26th after two penalties in the first prone, not much was expected from the 21-year-old Broutier. Bu his chance was yet to come. Learning from his mistakes, the French athlete closed all five targets in the second prone moving to 14th. Pulling off another zero in the first standing stage, Broutier found himself sixth. As all the other closest competitors started collecting penalties, Broutier knew that he needed to pull off another zero to compete for the podium. Succeeding, he left the last standing stage in third. Having a more than 10-second advantage in front of Germany’s Lucas Fratzscher, who was fourth after the last shooting, Broutier came in third for his first-ever IBU Cup podium. 

Lucas Fratzscher of Germany, with two penalties finished fourth, 1:07.4 behind. Norway’s Endre Stroemsheim, despite six penalties, came in fifth, 1:17.4 back. After five penalties, David Zobel of Germany completed the flower ceremony group by placing sixth, 1:21 back.

Women’s competition

10.6 seconds behind the winning Femsteinevik, Anastasia Shevchenko of Russia missed once in the final standing bout to finish second. Paula Botet of France with one penalty, added another third place to her collection finishing 22.4 seconds back. 

First-ever win for Femsteinevik

While the men’s competition had an early lead, the women’s competition offered more excitement and possible turns. After the first prone, it was Austria’s Katharina Innerhofer who managed to close the targets the fastest leaving the range in the lead. Femsteinevik was fourth, 5.4 seconds behind. After again a clean prone, Innerhofer kept her lead while Femsteinevik, also closing all targets, was still fourth.

After the Austrian picked up two standing penalties, the lead changed. As other competitors picked up penalties as well, Femsteinevik held her concentration and pulled off another round of zero. Shevchenko, also closing all targets until now, placed second 2.2 seconds behind the Norwegian. Arriving at the last standing side-by-side, Shevchenko and Femsteinevik both missed once leaving the tension to build until the very end. Femsteinevik, the faster shooter completed the shooting and the penalty loop faster leaving the range 7.8 seconds ahead of Shevchenko. Widening the gap even more, Femsteinevik was first to arrive at the finish line to collect her first-ever win.

Femsteinevik on her first-ever win: “I didn’t realize that I could win until I was on top of the last uphill. This is my first win, so this means a lot to me. I have trained for this for many years. In the last shooting I was just trying to focus on myself and then I got a miss on the first shot so I had to take an extra breathe, to just relax and focus on my plan. I am very happy that I managed to win.” 

Another third for Botet 

While Femsteinevik and Shevchenko dueled for the win; Botet kept herself in the game as well. Closing all the targets in the two prones, Botet arrived at the first standing stage in sixth. Despite one penalty, she left the shooting range in fourth, just behind Germany’s Marion Wiesensarter. The German earned another penalty in the last standing while Botet cleaned, entering the final loop in third, holding it for the last spot of the podium. 

Ekaterina Noskova of Russia collected three penalties in fourth, 28 seconds behind. Germany’s Maren Hammerschmidt, with two penalties finished fifth, 38.3 seconds back. Karoline Erdal of Norway took sixth place, with one penalty and 53.3 seconds back. 

Header iconIBU Cup Sjusjoen Mass Start 60

Photos: Evgeny Tumashov/IBU

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