Kirkeeide and Soerum win Individuals in Osrblie

Maren Kirkeeide and Vebjoern Soerum, both from Norway and first time ever with 20/20, won the Individual competitions on the opening day of the IBU Open European Championships in Brezno-Osrblie.

For Kirkeeide, it was a first Gold medal at the Open Championships, for Soerum’s second after he won in the Pursuit in Lenzerheide last winter.

In a class of her own, Kirkeeide wins Gold

After a measured first lap - she was eighth after the first shooting - Kirkeeide accelerated her skiing and stayed focused on the shooting range as she gradually built her lead over also-clean-shooting Alina Stremous of Moldavia and Ema Kapustova of Slovakia for a convincing win in 41:26.2; Stremous was 46.5 behind, and Kapustova, to the delight of the home crowd, 59.1.

The Winner’s Words - Maren Kirkeeide

It was a fun race for me. I hit 20/20 for the first time in my career, and to do it here and win a gold medal is very special. Last year, I uncharacteristically missed nine shots in Lenzerheide in the Individual, so this is obviously much better.

Watch Women 15km Individual Highlights

Ida Lien of Norway, the fastest skier of the day, shot 17/20 and finished in fourth place, 2:03.4 behind her teammate. Marion Wiesensarter (19/20) was the highest-ranked German in fifth place, just 1.4 seconds behind Lien. Annie Lind of Sweden, with 20/20, finished sixth, 2:10.4 behind Kirkeeide.

Soerum the best among the best

Finishing third in the Mass Start at the BMW IBU World Cup in Antholz-Anterselva last week, Soerum arrived in Brezno full of confidence. He clocked the second-fastest time after the first shooting, took the lead after the first standing shoot, and never looked back. He won in 51:32.7. Johan Olav Botn, also of Norway, the fastest skier of the day, earned a Silver medal despite two early misses. He was 1:09.7 behind Soerum. Martin Uldal, also of Norway, with one miss, finished third, 1:44.9 behind the winner.

The Winner’s Words - Vebjoern Soerum

It was a perfect day, not just for me but for the whole Norwegian team. It is my first 20/20 ever. This Gold medal brings sweet memories from the IBU Junior World Championships 2018/2019 when I won a Gold medal in the Sprint and Pursuit.

Watch Men 20km Individual Highlights

Martin Nevland and Isak Frey, both from Norway and with a 19/20 shooting score finished in fourth and fifth place. Vincent Bonacci of the USA, clearing all 20 targets, rounded the Flower ceremony podium in sixth place, 2:27.9 back.

Norwegian men shot 113/120 for a staggering 94.% team accuracy.

Header iconOECH 2024 - Individuals

Photo: IBU Pool: I. Stančik


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