Oestersund Individual Victory to Davidova

Marketa Davidova of Czech Republic took the lead after the first standing stage in this morning’s Oestersund women’s 15 km individual and romped to victory in 42:43.5. The 2021 IBU Women’s 15 km individual World Champion shot clean, just as she did when she won her title last February. Austria’s Lisa Theresa Hauser, with one penalty finished second, 1:17.5 back. Germany’s Denise Herrmann, also with one penalty finished third, 1:23 back.      

Header iconOestersund Women's 15 km Individual

Not her favorite

Davidova admitted, that despite being IBU World Champion in this discipline, it is not her favorite. “I am really happy with this because it is not my favorite competition. And the shooting, I am not so good in it, but I am starting to be better, maybe. I am really happy that I shot like this (20-for-20).”

World Champion, now Yellow Bib

Regarding her World Championship win and today, she added, “I think I was really lucky in Pokljuka. (Today), I fought with myself on the track; I just had to get to the finish. Everything else was like in a fog. This maybe helped me to stay and go.”

Today’s win netted Davidova the Yellow Bib for the first time in her career, which she will wear in tomorrow’s sprint. “It is crazy but I am happy.”

Dzinara Alimbekava of Belarus finished fourth, with two penalties, 1:46 back. Fifth went to Russia’s Uliana Nigmatullina, with one penalty, 2:04 back. Canadian Emma Lunder finished in a personal best sixth place, with one penalty, 2:05.2 back.

Season Opener: good winter conditions

The BMW IBU World Cup season opened with the women’s 15 km individual under excellent winter conditions with the thermometer at -8C and light winds that were pesky enough that every women in the field save Davidova missed at least one shot. The first prone stage saw more than 50 women clean with Italy’s Dorothea Wierer shooting clean atop the leaderboard. Davidova matched but was 6.8 seconds back, ahead of Hauser and Herrmann.

Davidova takes charge

In the first standing stage Hauser added a second clean stage to move in front briefly until Davidova did the same, moving into the lead.  Herrmann fell back with a single miss. while Nigmatullina, after a perfect prone stage, did the same in the standing stage to move to fourth.

The second prone was more of Davidova and Hauser with both cleaning but the Czech star 19 seconds faster as she left the stadium. Herrmann upped the ante with a clean stage to jump up to seventh, while Nigmatullina cleaned for a third time, leaving third.

Last Stage decision

The competition was decided in the last standing stage. First Hauser missed a shot, as did the Russian. Herrmann cleaned her second consecutive stage, jumping briefly to second. Then along came Davidova, on fire on the range, she cleaned for a third time, pushing her lead to 1:19 over the Austrian, dropping Herrmann to third.

Nothing changed in the last loop, with Davidova easily taking the third win of her career with Hauser and Hermann following.

Hauser “did not expect such a good start”

Hauser was not disappointed with her last stage missed shot, resulting in second place which she was very pleased with. “I did not expect such a good start. I felt good but every athlete has a big excitement inside before the season starts…I was quite nervous before today’s start. It is just amazing to have a competition like this.”

As for the shooting, “If you look at the result list and I had four times zero, Marketa would be in front of me. You always need good shooting in the individual. I knew it before; I tried to focus. I had good shooting performance the last two weeks in preparation. I knew you have to do what you can, but it is not so easy always

Herrmann’s strategy “worked well”

The German was not surprised with her result. “I am not surprised, but happy that I did the main important thing that I had to do. The individual is a special competition and you have to shoot really well. I know I can do it but sometimes, in biathlon, it is hard to handle. I am really satisfied that it worked so well today.

Regarding her strategy, she added, “I tried to not go so fast in the early kilometers was my strategy… The most important thing to come to the shooting range calm and have a clear mind; it worked well.”

Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni






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