Nove Mesto Hat Trick
Today’s win gave Olsbu Roeiseland a Nove Mesto Hat Trick, following her sprint and pursuit wins this weekend. “It is really special. You don’t experience that so often; only once last season in Oberhof and it happened again in a really crazy season. I really appreciate this…It was a great week and so fun to finish like this.”
Vetle the Showman
Christiansen, always up for some fun delivered his Incredible Hulk salute to the crowd after his clean standing stage. “I thought into the last shooting that it is not often that I get this chance with this amazing audience. I wanted to make sure I hit all five targets immediately and do some show. That is why I do biathlon. I heard the response of the audience, so thank you very much!”
France with a penalty and eleven spares finished fourth, 45.1 seconds back. Although The French squad’s fourth place combined with their earlier mixed relay win gave them the World Cup Mixed Relay Score globe with 305 points to Norway’s 280 points.
Austria with a penalty and ten spares finished fifth, 51.4 seconds back, just 1.2 seconds ahead of sixth place Ukraine, with a penalty and eight spares.
Little changed between the mixed relay and the single mixed, except the wind continued to pick up speed, hampering shooting. Still ten of the top eleven teams were spare-free in the first prone stage. Olsbu Roeiseland was twelfth with two spares. The Norwegian star rebounded with five perfect standing shots, taking the lead followed by Finland second and Austria.
The Hat Trick Lady commented, “The first prone I tried to be fast, but had to adapt and use two spares. Then in the next lap, I tried to stay calm and hit all the targets…I just tried to give it all; all the way. It was tough. We had to deliver our best today.”
Christiansen left with a nine-second lead and got through prone with a single spare round ahead of Latvia and Sweden. Nelin cleaned standing in five shots tagging Brorsson first, three seconds ahead of Latvia and Canada as Christiansen fell to 21 seconds back after two spares. “It was challenging with the wind today. In the single mixed, you have to be really efficient on the range and then it’s easy to forget about those important things like the wind.”
Mona Brorsson got through the prone stage spare-free with Canada’s Emma Lunder following 17 seconds back and Bendika holding third but three teams within eight seconds. Olsbu Roeiseland skied back into second before the standing stage. The Swede lost some of her margin using a spare in standing but still tagged Nelin in first. Christiansen went out second six seconds back with Simon Eder two steps behind in third. France trailed at 23 seconds back in fourth.
Christiansen’s attacking mode seals first place
Christiansen and Eder cleaned prone in five shots, going out 1-2, Nelin held on to third after two spare rounds, 18 seconds back, with fourth now at 31 seconds off the pace. The Norwegian, steady in standing cleaned with ease, saluted the crowd, and left for a victory lap. He explained what was different about his second leg. “I went into an attacking mode after being defensive in my first leg. I am glad I made it so I could put on a small show at the end.”
Hartweg matched the Norwegian, grabbing second place, “We were quite a big group (in the last standing). It was such a tight race and I knew I had to risk it and shoot fast and clean and it happened luckily. It was also a nice last loop because I looked behind and saw nobody coming. It was nice and I was able to enjoy the loop, the crowd, and the finish line.”
Latvia finishes Third
Rastorgujevs came through after two spares giving Latvia third and their first-ever mixed relay podium. His partner Bendika admitted this first podium, “feels good. It took a bit longer time than we were hoping because we always knew this format is a really good race for us. At the same time, it is tricky and not easy to get on the podium.”
The anchor added, “I am really happy today; good shooting, maybe not perfect but good enough for the podium.”
Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni, Jaroslav Svoboda