Zingerle and Andersen Win IBU Cup Super Sprints

The 30 best athletes qualified for the finals of the IBU Cup super sprints today at Sjusjoen. On the men’s side, Norway's Sverre Dahlen Aspenes won the qualification, but Filip Fjeld Andersen, despite two penalties, took the men's super sprint win in 20:01.7. Karoline Erdal of Norway won the women’s qualification, but the first place in the final went to Italy's Linda Zingerle with two penalties, in 23:23.4.

Men’s super sprint final

With Andersen taking the win, Erlend Bjoentegaard of Norway, after one prone penalty, finished second, 2.2 seconds back. Germany’s Justus Strelow claimed third place, with one penalty, 16.5 seconds back. 

The rise of the Phoenix

In 21st after prone, it seemed that Filip Fjeld Andersen did not stand a chance to claim the win. With another penalty in the second prone and still far from the top, Andersen was not even close to being considered the leader of the pack. However, when others started collecting penalties, Andersen, the fastest skier of the day allowed him to climb up to sixth position after cleaning the first standing. Closing all the targets again in the final standing, Andersen found himself in second position, just 1.7 seconds behind Bjoentegaard. While both men pushed hard, Andersen managed to pass Bjoentegaard during the last loop coming in first, 2.2 seconds ahead Bjoentegaard. 

Andersen was very happy about the win. "It feels really great to be back on the home grounds here in Sjusjoen and to bounce back from coming down from the World Cup to taking the win in the IBU Cup, it is just awesome. It is my first super sprint ever so I was a little bit excited and didn’t know what I was getting into, but it was really fun. It was action from start to finish. And I was really lucky on the last shot, it was almost a miss!”

Strelow takes third place

Justus Strelow was one of the top contenders throughout the competition. Second after the first prone, fourth after the second prone and leader by the end of the first standing, Strelow was in it for the win. Unfortunately, one miss in the last standing sent the German to the 75-meter long penalty loop giving Andersen and Bjoentegaard the chance to fight for the win. Strelow, after finishing his penalty loop, was third which he maintained to take the last podium spot. 

Norway's Haavard Gutuboe Bogetveit finished fourth, with three penalties, 17.7 seconds back. David Zobel of Germany earned two penalties and finished in fifth, 21.5 seconds back. Endre Stroemsheim of Norway with five penalties, finished sixth place, 22.1 seconds behind the winner. 

Women’s super sprint final 

After Linda Zingerle won her first-ever senior competition, the question was how to divide the remaining two podium places. Everything was decided on the finish line, Iryna Petrenko of Ukraine came in second, with one penalty, .8 seconds back. Earning a total of two penalties. Young Russian Anastasia Shevchenko took third place, with two penalties, 1.4 seconds back.

First-ever senior win for Zingerle

Entering the first prone stage, the young Italian was almost the last one to enter the shooting range, but she didn’t let that come in the way of her win. She cleaned prone landing in eighth position by the end of the second prone. Closing all the targets once again in the second prone, Zingerle knew that she was in it for the win when she left the shooting range side-by-side with the leading Shevchenko. The clouds started to emerge over the potential win in the first standing round where the Italian picked up two penalties, while Shevchenko had one. Despite the penalty, the Russian left the range in the lead while Zingerle dropped to ninth. Reclaiming three places by the start of the deciding shooting round, Zingerle kept her focus and closed all five targets, taking the lead from Shevchenko who had to ski the extra 75 meters just before the last loop. Zingerle, with a mere 1.8 second lead over Schevchenko, knew that it was now or never. The young Italian pushed herself to the limit and proved to be the best today claiming her first-ever senior win. 

Zingerle on her win, “I feel very very happy, I can’t quite believe it! It is so awesome to be here. The last shooting; I can’t quite remember what happened there, but it was awesome! The last loop was very very hard because I always heard others coming closer and closer, but I gave it everything and here I am!” 

The deciding last meters

While Iryna Petrenko was in the top 10 throughout the competition, it wasn’t until the last standing stage that anyone could have been sure that she was aiming the podium. Sixth after a penalty in the first standing, Petrenko needed a zero to step back in the fight for the podium. With her closest competitors all earning penalties, she pulled off the needed zero to join Zingerle and Shevchenko for the fight for the win. After the last standing stage, Petrenko was third, 3.4 seconds behind Zingerle and only 1.6 seconds behind Shevchenko. Closing the gap with both of them, the fate of the competition was to be decided on the finish line. While Zingerle took the win, Petrenko managed to push herself to second place leaving Shevchenko to settle for third place. 

Despite five penalties, Irene Cadurisch of Switzerland finished fourth, 9.2 seconds back. Russia’s Natalia Gerbulova, with one penalty placed fourth, 9.9 seconds behind. Maren Hammerschmidt of Germany, with four penalties finished sixth, 10.4 seconds back. 

Header iconIBU Cup Sjusjoen Super Sprint

Photos: IBU / Evgeny Tumashov

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