Røiseland pulls away
On her final lap, Marte Olsbu Røiseland puts her foot down and leaves her competitors behind.
problems at Voigt
Vanessa Voigt has to reload three times, but manages to avoid the penalty loop. The same goes for Elisa Gasparin. Germany and Switzerland slip out of the top 10 for the time being. This time only the Latvian has to go into the penalty loop, she circles twice and continues to carry the red lantern around the course.
In the standing position, the targets no longer fall quite as desired. Reloaders are required – one each for Norway and Austria. That can be fixed quickly. Linn Persson, on the other hand, clears away immediately and puts Sweden in 3rd place.
On the round
On the track everything comes together again. Marte Olsbu Røiseland closes the gap to the front again and Linn Persson is also working hard, halving the deficit.
Reloaders in Norway and Sweden
The Norwegian Røiseland needs an additional cartridge. Sweden’s Linn Persson reloads twice. This puts the Olympic champion relay a good 20 seconds behind when they leave the shooting range. The Latvian Baiba Bendika and the Finnish Mari Eder have to go to the penalty loop.
Now the weapon is used for the first time. The athletes set up the prone position. First shots ring out. Anaïs Bescond works spotlessly. Dunja Zdouc, Elisa Gasparin, Susan Dunklee and Vanessa Voigt do the same.
First, the field remains completely together. Marte Olsbu Røiseland is in the lead, pulling everyone else behind. Nothing will happen until the first visit to the shooting range.
Now the start of the last relay competition for women this winter takes place. The 17 women stormed off from three starting corridors at temperatures around freezing point.
When looking for the favorites, we inevitably end up with the Olympic champions. Sweden brings its gold quartet Linn Persson, Mona Brorsson as well as Hanna and Elvira Öberg to the start. The desire for revenge drives the Norwegians (Olympic fourth) and France (Olympic sixth). The French in particular had set the tone before the games in the World Cup. We also keep an eye on the Italians. Incidentally, all of the nations mentioned so far will be starting exactly in the respective Olympic line-up.
Beijing Bronze Squadron
Germany is going into the race exactly with the bronze-decorated Olympic line-up – that is, with Vanessa Voigt, Vanessa Hinz, Franziska Preuss and Denise Herrmann. The same applies to the Olympic ninth Austria – with Dunja Zdouc, Lisa Theresa Hauser, Anna Juppe and Katharina Innerhofer. And the cast will not be changed in the Swiss season either. However, starting runner Irene Cadurisch did not come to the first change at the games due to circulatory problems. That’s why Lena Häcki, Selina Gasparin and Amy Baserga hope that they can actually start the race today.
This leaves us with 17 relay teams who want to tackle the 4 x 6 kilometer competition. Each athlete has to complete three two-kilometre rounds, between which they shoot first in a prone position and then in a standing position. Three reloaders are available per strike. If these are not enough to get the five targets out of the way, there is a penalty loop for each missed target.
There is also no Ukrainian relay at the start. Of course, the athletes from the attacked Eastern European country currently have other concerns than pursuing their passion in the World Cup. Some people do their homeland service for the fatherland – for example Dmytro Pidurchnyi. The fate of 19-year-old young biathlete Yevhen Malyshev, who died in the fighting, also made headlines.
Despite the proximity, the Russian athletes, like those from Belarus, will be absent and will not appear in the World Cup this season. The sanctions are now also having a far-reaching effect in sport. So specifically, today we’re missing out on the Silver medalists from Beijing (ROC Relay) and two teams that have already made it onto the World Cup podium this season. The best-known absent Belarusians are Dzinara Alimbekava, second overall, and Hanna Sola, pursuit winner at Hochfilzen.
Finland’s eastern neighbor is known to be Russia. In sparsely populated North Karelia, the biathlon entourage is not far from the Russian border. By the way, the entire region of Karelia stretches across both sides, and more than 400 years ago it was completely part of the Russian Empire.
Welcome to the Biathlon World Cup in Kontiolahti! A good week and a half after the Winter Games in Beijing, the ski hunters in eastern Finland are contesting their first post-Olympic competitions. The women will start with their relay this Thursday at 2:30 p.m. CET.