JT Boe Doubles Up with Antholz Pursuit Victory

Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe, with two penalties, both in the standing stages completed his fourth sprint/pursuit double of the season this afternoon, winning the Antholz men’s 12.5 km pursuit in 31:24.4. JT, again went wire-to-wire, skiing and shooting alone from start-to-finish in his sixth consecutive individual win since the calendar turned to 2023. Teammate Sturla Holm Laegreid shot clean in second place, 40.2 seconds back.

“I have not lost since last year”

JT, with win number eleven this season, was a bit speechless after another dominating performance. “Another time; it was just amazing. I did a good race; not so many words, but I am glad to win, of course.”

As for his undefeated streak in 2023, he added with a laugh, “I have not lost since last year so it feels like some time ago… A great January…the most historic World Cups with Pokljuka instead of Oberhof. To be so good in this trimester means a lot.”

Header iconBMW IBU World Cup 6 Antholz Men's 12.5 km Pursuit

First Pursuit Podium

Sweden’s Martin Ponsiluoma, second in yesterday’s sprint, finished third, with two penalties, 1:02.1 back for his first-ever podium in a pursuit. “It is really special. I think I am a good pursuit person so it was time to show it.”

Germany’s Roman Rees finished fourth, same as in the sprint, with one penalty, 1:34.3 back. Two Norwegians Johannes Dale, with one penalty and Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen, with four penalties finished fifth and sixth, 2:00.8 and 2:17.8 back, respectively.

Clean Prone Stages: Big Lead

Conditions remained the same for the last individual competition before the IBU World Championships next month in Oberhof. JT all alone, cruised through the first loop, cleaned prone, leaving with a 52-second lead over the also-clean Laegreid. Ponsiluoma went to the penalty loop, dropping to third position, with Christiansen in fourth. The second bout of prone shots were as perfect as the first for the Yellow/Red Bib as well as teammate Laegreid following in second position. Although 10-for-10, Laegreid lost time falling 58 seconds off the leader’s pace.

“I felt really good”

JT was very pleased with his shooting, especially in prone, “I felt really good on the first prone. The targets just bloomed out. The second prone I used a little more time but still managed to go clean. I was gaining seconds on the track every time, so I felt I had good control over the race. The only problem left was to ski too fast into the standing shoots, but I found the right speed.”

Ponsiluoma added another penalty loop, but continued to hold third, moving 21 seconds ahead of Niklas Hartweg, who moved up from 11th position at the start with two clean prone stages as Rees and Dale, also 10-for-10 followed closely.

Aggressive in Standing

JT’s shot aggressively in the first standing stage, missing his second shot. Laegreid put a small dent in JT’s lead with his third consecutive clean stage, moving up slightly to 50 seconds back. Ponsiluoma finally cleaned a stage, putting ahead of Rees, now in fourth by 29 seconds.

Penalty Loop Wave to Fans

The leader showed no sense of urgency, skiing the next loop into the final standing stage. Laegreid seemed to be just as relaxed while Ponsiluoma seemed to fight for every meter. The Total Score leader again blew through his five targets, missing the fourth. Knowing the victory was his, he waved to the fans with a smile as he exited the penalty loop. Laegreid went to 20-for-20, securing second place.

Laegreid admitted it was good to shoot clean after a long drought. “It means a lot to shoot 20-out-of-20 again. The last time was the individual in Oestersund last season. It was time for me to get that 100% in a four-shooting race. I just stayed calm and focused, not let any shots go and fight for every shot.”

Ponsiluoma, “nervous in the last shooting.”

Ponsiluoma closed his tenth standing target, setting the podium saying the standing shooting was the key. “It was a really hard race. I was alone almost all the time. I just had to make a good standing shooting and I am really happy with it. I was nervous in the last shooting I must say but I tried to shoot and not stop…the timing was perfect in standing…the key is not to hesitate and just do the work.”

Last loop and the fans

In what has become a familiar sight this season, JT skied the last loop alone, enjoying the last loop while skiing effortlessly with many waves to the fans along the tracks. As he entered the stadium, he almost stopped to high-five the team physio; then bowing several times to the crowd in the last 50 meters. Regarding the last loop, the winner added, “It is the best feeling. Like different from last week with Vetle in the mass start. You are totally digging so deep. It was just fun. I could look into the eyes of the fans, just smile and wave. For me this is one of those days when you are just so happy to be in this situation.” Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni

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