She ran, shot and won. This is how Tiril Eckhoff’s performance in today’s sprint race of the 9th World Cup round in Nové Město na Moravě could be paraphrased. The leader of the World Cup general classification has not been beaten in an individual race in Vysočina Arena this year, but she has not been beaten in any sprint race since Hochfilzen in December! The Norwegian racer won despite having to run a penalty loop. The silver medallist, Denise Hermann of Germany, and Dorothea Wierer of Italy on third place, both made no mistake at the shooting range.

Czech ladies also did well: Lucie Charvátová took 10th place, and Markéta Davidová finished just behind her, on 11th place. Both of them recorded a miss, both in standing position.

Tiril Eckhoff took the lead after the opening prone position shooting in which she did not miss. She made a mistake in the standing and dropped on second position for a while, though the gap between her and the current leader, Dorthea Wierer, was mere 2.1 seconds. The Italian was overtaken by Denise Hermann in the end, who managed to get eight seconds over the Italian. In the meantime, Tiril Eckhoff ran her own master class league… The question is: can Tiril be beaten in this season anymore?

The sixth subsequent triumph means that the Norwegian queen of this season took the small globe for overall victory in the World Cup in this discipline. “It is a dream. A dream come true. I love biathlon and I am happy that I am doing so well.” She said that the standing position shooting had been a critical point for her. “I was a bit hasty and I missed one target. It was very tight between Denise, Dorothea and me in the last lap, but my skis were just fantastic, got pinpoint info from my team along the track, and I was motivated. The victory is not only mine, it belongs to the whole team.” 

Czech biathletes presented themselves with identical shooting: they were flawless in prone position, and had one miss in standing. With the exception of Lucie Charvátová, they all missed the very first one. From the home quartet, Markéta Davidová was the strongest runner (9th running time), whilst Lucie Charvátová took advantage of her fast run and good shooting, being 15th fastest in both cases. Jessica Jislová finished 31st in the sprint, Eva Puskarčíková finished 33rd.

The 10th place was this season’s best for Lucie Charvátová, who thus repeated her good performance from the last week. “I had not expected anything similar. When I think that I am finally doing well, I usually fall down right on my mouth. That’s the way things are with me. So it is such a great relief for me! I appreciate that I finally feel more confident in the shooting range, after the peculiar course of the season that I have had.”

Markéta Davidová admitted that she was getting tired. “One miss can still be considered a good result, but honestly, I currently cannot run any faster, I am at the maximum. I try hard, think of my technique, I want to jump up the climbs, but no, I cannot, I do not have any strength. I have to push myself a lot, so I say that 11th place is great for me.”

Author: Tomáš Hermann
Photo: Michal Jilka

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