Quentin Fillon Maillet of France won 10km sprint that was the first race of the 9th World Cup round in Nové Město na Moravě. It was his very first sprint victory in the World Cup. Silver medal went to Tarjei Boe of Norway, and the third place was taken by Lukas Hofer of Italy. All five Czech biathletes qualified into the pursuit race that is going to take place on Saturday; Michal Krčmář was the best of them, finishing 12th. 

104 biathletes in aggregate started into the race, only Andrejs Rastorgujev of Latvia was not among them as he had missed three anti-doping checks, and so he was suspended.

It was raining before the race, and troublesome wind was blowing in Nové Město. The conditions improved shortly before the race and both the wind and rain stopped. The track was fast, and so mainly the shooting range proved to be the decisive element in the race. 18 clean sheets were scored in the race eventually; the first four to finish did not have a single miss, including Emilien Jacquelin of France and Michal Krčmář.

Today’s sprint made the battle for the overall victory in the World Cup classification dramatic once again: Johannes Thingnes Boe (9th today) is still in the lead, but Sturla Holm Laegreid (5th today) is only 25 points behind. And if into consideration is taken the fact that four races are not counted at the end of the World Cup, the situation is that the younger of the two Norwegians is in the lead. Norwegians dominate the classification, as Tarjei Boe is third and Johannes Dale fifth. Only Quentin Fillon Maillet managed to wedge himself among them.

Czech biathletes had a good race as three of them were awarded points for their final standing: Michal Krčmář was 12th (shooting: 0-0), Jakub Štvrtecký was 29th (1-0), and Mikulář Karlík was 34th (0-2). Czechs proved their fighting spirit. They were among the fastest racers at the end of the race, and managed to improve their positions after shooting in standing position, where Michal Krčmář was 14th, Jakub Štvrtecký 38th and Mikuláš Karlík was 49th. Vítězslav Hornig, the second junior in the Czech squad, qualified into the pursuit race too, finishing 50th. However, the legend of the team – Ondřej Moravec – said his final goodbye, as he made three mistakes at the shooting range and finished 59. He seems to have good disciples in the team, though! 

Author: Tomáš Hermann
Photo: Michal Jilka

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