Olsbu Roeiseland “really nervous in last shooting”
Olsbu Roeiseland, who out Norway in the lead with her sterling last standing stage, praised her teammate after winning their third IBU WCH Single Mixed Relay Gold. “It was a really exciting relay. I was so nervous in the last shooting, but Johannes showed us he is the best athlete at the moment; so good. We were really good together. We beat many good teams, so we are just so happy.”
“It could have ended up otherwise”
JT, who added some excitement with his penalty added, “It was solid in the end, but without Marte, it would not be a chance; a great team performance. We were really attacking for it today but many teams gave us competition. It could have ended up otherwise for sure. (looking at his bib number and his teammate)…Bib number one and bib number one!”
Undefeated in 2023 and now with five Gold medals in Oberhof, JT admitted that the single mixed is a tough fast-moving competition, just like a car race. “This is like a Formula One race from the start to the finish line, all the athletes are going maximum on the track, shooting faster than they do normally. Often you see some teams get in front like we did with Marte and then fail and go in the loop like I did. It changes all the time and hard to predict how it will be in the end. Today was an excellent fight with Italy and Austria. Both David and Giacomel were skiing impressive, so it was not easy.”
Sweden, France and Germany all had a penalty and twelve spares, finishing fourth through sixth, 1:16.4, 1:21.9 and 1:30.7 back, respectively.
Overcast skies kept the temperature a bit lower at +4C today, but the winds on the shooting range were quite strong for this competition where quick shooting with minimal spare rounds is essential. Olsbu Roeiseland led the pack into the first prone stage. Vittozzi led the pack out of the range with Hauser, Sophia Schneider and Hanna Oeberg all within 2 seconds. The Norwegian lagged by 16 seconds after two spare rounds. Vittozzi cleaned standing first with a spare followed by the Austrian and Swede, making the first exchange in that order with Johannes taking the tag fourth 13.6 seconds back.
Giacomel and Komatz both used a spare in prone, getting away 1-2 with JT after a spare third, 9.4 seconds back. Sebastian Samuelsson dropped to sixth 20 seconds back. In standing, Komatz and JT both went 5-for-5 while the Italian used a spare, tagging their partners in that order.
Olsbu Roeiseland led the trio into the women’s second prone stage, cleaned with five shots, but Vittozzi shot a hair faster, grabbing the lead, with Hauser in third; again, all within three seconds. The Italian cleaned standing with two spares, while her Norwegian rival went 5-for-5, tagging Johannes in first, 7.8 seconds before Giacomel with Komatz in third, 9.2 seconds behind.
JT used all three spares in prone, picking up a penalty ceding the lead to Komatz with Giacomel on his shoulder. The Norwegian came out of the penalty loop 11 seconds behind the leading duo. JT was on their shoulder by the last standing stage, sealing the win with five perfect shots.
The penalty made Marte nervous, but she knew he would prevail. “After his second (prone) shooting, I was a bit nervous but know he is one of, no, the best skier… so he was amazing in the second loop and in the standing, we all saw it. It was really impressive.”
Komatz used a spare in standing, leaving safely in the Silver medal position. Hauser praised him. “It was an amazing day for us…David did a really great job today. It was super exciting in the last shooting.” Giacomel despite two penalties held on for the Bronze medal.
“I did not survive the pressure”
The 22-year-old Giacomel did not think he handled the last standing very well. “I actually did not survive the pressure because I got a penalty lap in the final standing…It was quite challenging: the final standing. I was expecting more wind like in the first standing but it wasn’t quite the same. It was moving my barrel quite a lot, so I did not have control of my rifle, ending up shooting a penalty lap.”
Vittozzi added that although it was nerve-wracking, it turned out well. “The (Tommaso’s) last standing shooting was a little bit scary for me. I did not look after the shooting. We took the medal so at the end, I am really happy.”
Photos: IBU/Christian Manzoni, Björn Reichert