Undefeated in Sprints: JT Boe Wire-to-Wire in Nove Mesto

Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Boe, shooting clean went wire-to-wire in this afternoon’s Nove Mesto na Moravě men’s 10 km sprint, finishing in 22:39.6, running his undefeated sprint streak to seven this season. Today’s win was his fifteenth individual title of the 2022/23 season, including the recent BMW IBU World Championships. His older brother Tarjei, also shooting clean finished second for another 1-2 “Boedium.” 30 seconds back. Teammate Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen, with one penalty, finished third, 1:15.2 back, completing a Norwegian podium sweep.

Happy winner “Managed a good race”

JT was smiling and totally pleased with his latest victory. “It was one of those races where you look back and the only thig you could change is maybe the shape could be a little bit better. You could ski a bit faster, but…my shooting was clean for sure. I managed a good race; happy about it!”

“We are very lucky”

He was impressed with the energy of the Thursday evening crowd in the Vysočina Arena. “It is the best. I went through the mixed zone and it was almost impossible to hear the questions; so many people here on Thursday night. I cannot wait for the weekend: 30,000 people all crazy about biathlon. It is one of the best venues. All the athletes are smiling here. We are very lucky.”

Tarjei “tired of being second”

As for the Saturday pursuit, JT is a bit worried about his brother. “I have my brother right behind and he is tired of being second. He wants up there; I better look back and ski faster than ever before!”

Header iconBMW IBU World Cup 7n Nove Mesto na Morave Men's 10 km Sprint

Endre Stroemsheim, winner of the IBU Cup Total and Sprint Scores this season added to the Norwegian success with his World Cup personal best fourth place, also shooting clean, 1:17.9 back. France’s Fabien Claude, with one penalty finished fifth, 1:23 back with Sweden’s Martin Ponsiluoma, also with one penalty, in sixth place, 1:25.2 back.

Competition Effectively Over Early

The first start after the BMW IBU World Championships was almost like spring, with bright late afternoon creating bluebird skies, +9C warmth and a light wind cutting across the shooting range. After just two starters, the competition was effectively over as JT took immediate control and stayed unchallenged for the next 22+ minutes. Wearing bib 2, after skiing a fast first loop, he easily cleaned the prone stage. Christiansen did the same but trailed by 14 seconds. Tarjei was the next Norwegian up; he did the same, four seconds slower than Christiansen. Then there were four clean Norwegians: Stroemsheim matched going into fourth position.

Tarjei, “my confidence is back”

Tarjei admitted that although he trained well, the first part of the season was not so good, but in 2023, things have come together. Today was as good as possible, with just his brother standing between him and the victory. “What can I do? Quite good biathlon; perfect race from start to finish. It is just that my brother is a little unbeatable at the moment. I am happy with my performance but of course, I want to win…I am not sure why my shape is so good now. My goal was World Champs, to be in good shape there and I hope it will continue until the season is over. I just have my confidence back and that is the biggest key at this point.”

Standing Targets fall easily for Boe brothers

The standing targets fell just as easily for the Yellow/Red Bib as the prone ones did; the bar was set for the other 98 men to try to top him.

Vetle, “knew what I had to do”

Christiansen up next missed a shot falling 52 seconds back of his teammate. Before shooting, he knew the pressure was on. “When I was in the woods, I could hear Johannes’ shooting. I could hear he had a really fast standing shooting, then I knew what I had to do. He had a perfect race. I had to try to do my best to follow him, even though I know it is really, really tough these days.”

Tarjei took a bit to set up his first standing shot but then mowed down the five targets in quick succession, as easily as his brother, going out second 26 seconds back. Stroemsheim matched his two older teammates, moving into third position 12.4 seconds ahead of Christiansen.

After the 10-for-10 day, it was off to the races for JT, adding seconds to his lead, with no one able to match his ski speed. Tarjei, did however hold his own on the last loop compared to his brother, losing just a few seconds, but still a distant 30 seconds back at the finish.

Christiansen Holds on for Third

Stroemsheim lost time to Christiansen in the last loop, ceding third place too Christiansen.

The 2018 IBU Cup Overall Champion showed mixed feelings at the finish after beating his younger compatriot: “It's tough when a teammate is fighting for the podium and also breaks his stick. So I have mixed feelings. But that's sports. It's not always fair, but he still has seven chances this season to fight for his first podium. With his running form and fast shooting, he can be really dangerous on Saturday.”

The return to the podium after narrowly missing out on several occasions felt 'very good' for Christiansen. The sprint wasn't exactly my forte this year. After my fifth and sixth finishes at the World Championships, I am really happy to be back on the podium.”

Third World Cup Sprint Score title

One step from a season sweep of the sprints, JT secured the World Cup Sprint Score crystal globe for the third time in his career. “Before the season, the sprint in Holmenkollen is one that you want to win and now winning it (for an undefeated season) would be quite an achievement…With six out of six sprint wins, I think the sprint globe went to the right person, but I surely wanted Sturla (who is out with Covid-19) here.” Photos: IBU/ Christian Manzoni, Jaroslav Svoboda

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