QUEEN TIRIL. THE NORWEGIAN TURNED THE VICTORY IN PURSUIT RACE IN GENERAL VICTORY IN THE WORLD CUP CLASSIFICATION!
Tiril Eckhoff of Norway started first into the race and stayed on her position until the end of the 10km pursuit race. The fact that the thirty-year old biathlete from Oslo won means that she also is on the first place in the whole 2020/21 World Cup general classification, won the small crystal globe for first place in pursuit race, and also remained unbeaten in Vysočina Arena! On Saturday, the silver went to Dzinara Alimbeka of Belarus, and the bronze to Preuss of Germany.
The 12.5km long men’s race was won by Quentin Fillon Maillet of France, for whom it was as second subsequent victory. The leader of the World Cup general classification Johannes Thingnes Boe of Norway finished second, another Frenchman – Emilien Jacquelin – was third.
A SOLO RIDE
During the race, Tiril Eckhoff did not give even a slightest chance to her opponents to get any close to her. She could flash a smile for cameras after the last shooting and enjoy her gap and take in her triumph. The Norwegian won sixth of seven pursuit races of this season, and got 12th victory in 23 individual races. This was a solo ride both in the pursuit race and the whole season! She also managed to take two silvers and a bronze, and she only did not take points in Kontiolahti at the beginning of the season.
“It was a hard day today. I struggled with the track, at the shooting range, with my opponents, and with myself and my thoughts, too. It distracted me, I was less concentrated. This is why I am really happy that I made it, that I took the gold,” Tiril said after the race, laughing.
Dzinara Alimbeka, who was second, is seventh in the World Cup classification. Consider the fact that she had finished 76th only in general classification last year! She has improved so much that she is defending her lead among biathletes under 25 years of age, having advantage of 30 points on Markéta Davidová of the Czech Republic. Francizska Preuss of Germany, who took the bronze, improved her position as she was fourth in the sprint race.
SECOND GOLD FOR THE FRENCHMAN
The end of the season brought and excellent form to Quentin Fillon Maillet of France, who has always finished in the top ten since the sprint in Oberhof on January 13th. In this series of twelve races, not only he took the bronze from the mass race at the World Championships in Pokljuka, but also two victories in NMNM. The race on Saturday did not start well for him: he missed once in each prone position, which gave six other racers a chance to get ahead of him. Two clean standing shootings got him back into the lead!
“It was after the last shot rang that I realized that I might win again. All in all, it was not a good race for me, though. I was not as strong in running and at the shooting range as I had been in the sprint. Luckily, it was enough to win the race today,” the twenty-six-year old Frenchman commented on his victory.
The second place went to the leader of the GC, Johannes Thingnes Boe, and thought tired, Emilien Jacquelin, managed to defend his third place.
HOW DID THE CZECHS DO?
Markéta Davidová missed only once in prone position, and proved great fighting spirit after improving from 11th place after the start to 6th place at the finish line. She is 10th in the general classification. Eva Puskarčíková, who started 33rd, got better too: she finished on 29th place.
Michal Krčmář was getting into the top ten, however, two misses at the first standing position shooting prevented him from getting any better. He finished 13th in the end, losing one position. Mikuláš Karlík is getting better despite his young age: he ran into the race on 34th position, but finished 26th, despite his three misses in the second prone position shooting. Ondřej Moravec, for whom it was the last individual race of his career, finished 52nd.
Author: Tomáš Hermann
Photo: Michal Jilka