Super Sprint Gold to Marketa Davidova, George Buta

Local hero Marketa Davidova of Czech Republic won a rainy last loop battle with her Ukrainian foe Yulia Dzhima to claim the Women’s Super Sprint Gold medal in 22:43.5 at the IBU Summer Biathlon World Championships this afternoon in Nove Mesto na Moravě. Romania’s George Buta shot clean in the early evening Men’s Super Sprint to win the Gold medal in 19:36.5.

Header iconIBU Summer Biathlon World Championships Women and Men's Super Sprint

Second Gold of 2021 for Davidova

Davidova who won the IBU World Championships 15 km Individual Gold medal last February admitted her second Gold medal of 2021 was not easily won. “It was hard, rain and the wind was changing, but it was fun. This type of race is really difficult because there is not so much time between (the Qualifier and Final) …I was angry because I always miss the last shot.”

Buta Overwhelmed

Buta, whose personal best in a BMW IBU World Cup competition lies outside of the top thirty was overwhelmed by his success. “It was a big surprise for me. I am very happy with this result and hope I can qualify for the Olympic Games.”

Davidova with three penalties finished 2.9 seconds ahead of Silver medalist Dzhima, with two penalties. The RBU’s Irina Kazekevich, with three penalties won the Bronze medal, 6.6 seconds back.

Kazekevich’s teammate Valeria Vasnetcova, with four penalties finished fourth, 9.5 seconds back. Slovakia’s Paulina Fialkova, also with four penalties finished fifth, 23 seconds back. Tamara Derbusheva of the RBU finished sixth, with three penalties, 27.2 seconds back.

Monika Hojnisz-Starega takes Qualifier

The Senior Women’s Qualifier kicked of the second day of competition at the Vysočina Arena with improved conditions: partly cloudy skies and a light breeze making shooting much easier. The prone stage saw Dzhima jump to an early lead with five perfect shots with Fialkova .2 seconds back and Svetlana Mironova, Jessica Jislová and Suvi Minkkinen all within 10 seconds. After a prone miss, Hojnisz-Starega came back fast with a clean standing stage to take the lead while most of her rivals missed a shot or two; only the RBU’s Margarita Vasileva challenged just .4 seconds behind the Polish veteran with 1500 meters to go. However, Hojnisz-Starega held on to claim the win, with one penalty in 12:21.7. Vasileva also with one penalty finished second, 2.9 seconds back with her teammate Vasnetcova third, 8.1 seconds back.

Kazekevich’s teammate Valeria Vasnetcova, with four penalties finished fourth, 9.5 seconds back. Slovakia’s Paulina Fialkova, also with four penalties finished fifth, 23 seconds back. Tamara Derbusheva of the RBU finished sixth, with three penalties, 27.2 seconds back

Rain, wind and the last standing stage

One hour later, the top 30, only separated by 68 seconds in the Qualifier lined up for the 7.5 km final as dark skies loomed overhead and the wind blowing hard. Five women shot clean to go out of the first prone stage within 10 seconds, led by Kazekevich and Hojnisz-Starega. Kazekevich and her Polish rival went shot-for shot, leaving 1-2 in the second prone stage. Fialkova after a penalty went out third but 17 seconds back with the also clean Dzhima. In the first standing, everything changed as the leaders both picked up penalties, but Kazekevich came out still in the lead with her teammate Vasnetcova second followed at 14 seconds back by Dzhima and the hometown hero Davidova. The leaders came to the last standing stage in a downpour of rain. Dzhima and Davidova both had single misses to leave 1-2 while the RBU teammates missed two and three times, leaving 9 and 11 seconds back.

Davidova Splashes to Victory

With 900 meters to go, the Czech Republic star led the Ukrainian veteran by a mere 1.2 seconds. Rain pelted down as they battled up the final climb into the stadium separated by a second, Davidova cheered on by local fans pulled away for the win over Dzhima. Kazekevich outsprinted her teammate for the last podium spot

Men’s Super Sprint

Behind Buta, the RBU’s Yaroslav Kostyukov, with two penalties won the Silver medal, 11 seconds back. Florent Claude of Belgium, also with two penalties, claimed the Bronze medal, 15.7 seconds back.

Czech Republic’s Michal Krcmar, also with two penalties finished fourth, 22.8 seconds back. Fifth place went to Michal Sima of Slovakia, with three penalties, 25.4 seconds back. RBU’s Roman Surnev who won the earlier Qualifier finished sixth, with four penalties, 30.9 seconds back.

Surnev leads Men’s Qualifiers

The men’s Qualifier had the same steady rain that the women faced an hour earlier, with the temperature hovering at 12°C. More than a dozen men shot clean in the prone stage all within 16 seconds with Romania’s Corian Puchianu holding the top spot. The standing stage which came very quickly in this short 4.5 km sprint saw the RBU’s Roman Surnev after one prone penalty and another in standing leave for the last loop with a slim .7-second lead over Poland’s Andrzej Nedza-Kubiniec. However, the RBU athlete pulled away for the win as his Polish rival faded to fourth at the finish. Belgium’s Florent Claude with a standing miss his only blemish finished second, while surprising Puchianu in third place.

Rain and Shooting Perfection

Light to at times heavy rain continued to fall during the early evening Men’s 7.5 km final. Ten men cleaned the first prone stage with Kostyukov leading the train out for the second loop. Only seven remained perfect after five more prone shots; Denis Nasyko and Krupcik took over the lead. The wind was calm as the leaders came to the first standing stage. Buta went to 15-for-15 to grab a 15 second lead over World Cup regulars Krcmar and Claude. The lone leader calmly hit every shot in the last standing stage, heading out for a victory loop with 25 seconds over the RBU’s Kostyukov and Claude.

First-ever Podium and Win for Buta

The 29-year-old Romanian, not leaving anything to chance continued to push over the last 1500 meters for his country’s first-ever senior IBU SBWCH title and his first-ever podium in any IBU competition. Kostyukov and Claude remained in second and third place.

Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni

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