Snowy Season Openers in Sjusjoen, Idre

The new season opened this weekend, with deep winter snowy conditions and many familiar faces atop the podium, including last season’s World Cup Total Score winner with Johannes Thingnes Boe taking a sprint/mass start double in Sjusjoen, Julia Simon taking the Haute Maurienne sprint, and Anna Magnusson, Sebastian Samuelsson and Elvira Oeberg picking up wins in Idre.


JT Dominates Sjusjoen Sprint

With heavy snow falling, JT picked up where he left off last March, winning the men’s 10 km sprint with one penalty in 25:50.1. Clean shooting Sturla Holm Laegreid finished second, 21.4 seconds back with teammate Vebjoern Sorum third with two penalties, 22.5 seconds back. JT cleaned prone, missed a standing shot and poured on the afterburners to seal his win. Norwegians filled the top 6, with Germany’s Benedikt Doll, finishing seventh, with one penalty, 1:00.7 back, while teammate Roman Rees shot clean but finished 11th, 1:31.2 back.

Italy’s Lisa Vittozzi, with one penalty won a nail-biter women’s 7.5 km sprint in 22:21.7 over Norway’s Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold with two penalties, 3.1 seconds back and Czechia’s Marketa Davidova in third, with one penalty, 4.9 seconds back. Early starter Vittozzi in the lead from the outset, had to watch as Tandrevold burned up the tracks trying to wrest the victory away and Davidova chased the duo. The trio finished well in front of the remaining starters with Norway’s Marth Krakstad Johansen finishing fourth, a distant 49.4 seconds back.

Anna Magnusson wins in Idre

With snowfall just as heavy in Idre as Sjusjoen, Anna Magnusson shot clean to take the Women’s 12.5 km Short Individual National Championship, with the favorite Elvira Oeberg second, after three penalties in the last two stages. Estonia’s Susan Kulm shot clean in third place. Mona Brorsson, with four penalties took last podium spot in the National Championship category.

Like in the women’s competition, the heavy favorite Sebastian Samuelsson finished second, with five penalties as Anton Ivarsson winning the Men’s 15 km Short Individual National Championship with a single penalty. Oscar Brandt, with four penalties rounded out the podium.

Julia Simon Takes Haute Maurienne Sprint

Like JT, 2023 Women’s World Cup Total Score winner opened her season with a sprint with a one-penalty sprint win in 21:22.9. Annaelle Bondoux and Justine Braisaz-Bouchet also had single penalties in second and third, 11.4 and17.8 seconds back respectively.

Emilien Claude won the first round in the battle for the final spot on the French World Cup team, taking the men’s 10 km sprint in 25:24.1, with one penalty. Second and third went to 23-year-old Oscar Lombardot and Emilien Jacquelin, both with two penalties, 4.3 and 21 seconds back. 2022 World Cup Total Score winner Quentin Fillon Maillet finished fourth, 27.6 seconds back with three penalties.


Mass Start Boedium

Under milder conditions than Saturday, JT reinforced his dominance from last season with a convincing mass start victory in Sunday’s mass start, giving him a weekend double. The Norwegian star dueled with his older brother Tarjei until the last standing when JT picked up a single penalty to Tarjei’s two, setting up another Boedium with JT the winning in 38:20.5, 9.6 seconds ahead of his brother. Third went to Vebjoern Soerum, also with two penalties, 19.2 seconds back. Once again, the Norwegians dominated the international field, taking thirteen of the top 15 places. Italy’s Didier Bionaz and Germany’s Philipp Nawrath broke up the Norwegian party in 13 and 14th places.

A single penalty for Juni Arnekleiv gave the Norwegians a sweep of the mass starts as she sprinted to a 1.9 second win over teammate Marth Krakstad Johansen, also with a single penalty. Saturday’s sprint winner Italy’s Lisa Vittozzi had a four-times-zero day, but did not have the track speed to match the Norwegians, finishing third, 10.5 seconds back. Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold, Karoline Offigstad Knotten and Germany’s Vanessa Voigt completed the Flower Ceremony.

Idre Sprints to Sebbe and Elvira

Swedish team leaders Sebastian Samuelsson and Elvira Oeberg came back from second place finishes in Saturday’s short individuals with victories in Sunday’s Idre sprints. Samuelsson missed two prone shots but cleaned standing finishing 18.5 second ahead of 9-of-10 Jesper Nelin and 37.7 second ahead of third place Anton Ivarsson who shot clean.

Elvira claimed her win with a stunning performance on the tracks, going out aggressively and not letting up, while missing a prone shot and two in standing, taking the win in 23:28.7. Anna-Karin Heijdenberg, with one penalty finished second, 14.7 seconds back. Last season’s IBU Cup Total Score winner Tilda Johansson shot clean in third, 17.1 seconds back. Short individual winner Anna Magnusson finished fourth with one penalty, 28.4 seconds back.

Jeanmonnot and Perrot win Short Individuals

In a cold driving rain at Haute Maurienne, Lou Jeanmonnot missed just a single shot to win the short individual in 39:11.6. 21-year-old’s Oceane Michelon and Jeanne Richard With six and five penalties, respectively finished second and third. Julia Simon did not start.

Eric Perrot, despite five penalties won the men’s short individual in 40:54.3. Antonin Guigonnat and Emilien Claude finished second and third, with four and five penalties respectively. Claude’s third place secured the final spot on the French World Cup squad for the season opener in Oestersund in13 days.

Photos: IBU/NSSF, Per Danielsson, Nordic Focus

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