Loginov without a medal, Vasilyeva jerk and Vittozzi's double double: how were the pursuits at the biathlon KM stage in Oberhof
The pursuit races were held in Oberhof within the framework of the Biathlon World Cup stage. Alexander Loginov could not stay in the top three and eventually came to the fifth finish, allowing four misses. Victory in men won Johannes Boy. Women won gold again Italian Lisa Vittozzi. Evgenia Pavlova showed the best result among Russians, taking 13th place, and Margarita Vasilyeva managed to win back 35 positions during the race.
The victory of Alexander Loginov in the sprint at the stage of the Biathlon World Cup split athletes, fans and all those involved in this sport into two camps. Many biathletes, whom the Russians overtook on the track, did not like the fact that the athlete won with a doping past. Johannes Bo, Sebastian Samuelsson and Martin Fourcade demanded a public apology for winning his first gold medal, Loginov, after serving a disqualification.
Anton Shipulin stood up for the former teammate. He said that Loginov’s attacks would stop if he would more often beat opponents from the elite of the world biathlon.
“I hope that sooner or later it will all end. Loginov need to show results. A couple of times will pass over their heads - they will begin to respect more. The best advice from me is to work and not pay attention to people who not only do their sports work, but also start political games. He always believed that the biathlete comes to the competition to run. Let the functionaries be involved in politics, ”said Shipulin RT.
An excellent chance to “drive over the heads” presented itself very quickly - at the Oberhof stage, the sprint was complemented by a pursuit race. On Saturday, Loginov had the right to start the race with four firing lines 25 seconds earlier than Be, and the advantage over Samuelsson and Benedict Doll was more than half a minute. Fourcade started the seventh at all, 47 seconds behind the Russian.
For Loginov, this balance of power was optimal. This season, the pursuits for him were excellent: the Russian started twice in the top three and confirmed the claims to the medals. But the weather intervened in the athletes' plans for the Saturday race. In Oberhof, it began to snow, a strong wind began to blow, which could seriously interfere with the shooting.
Loginov was one of those who turned away from luck. Already on the first frontier he made a blunder, and nothing was left of the advantage over Be. When the wind died down, Fourcade approached the shooting range and worked cleanly, rising to third place. They kept together in the top three before standing. Beu gave the persecutors a chance and entered the penalty loop, but only Fourcade took advantage of this gift. Loginov made two misses and dropped out of the fight for medals.
On the last lap, the Russian shot clean, but it was too late. In the shootout of Be and Fourcade, the Norwegian won, taking the first place for the seventh time this season. The second and third place went up German Arnd Peiffer and Italian Lucas Hofer. No matter how Fourcade tried to catch up with the leading three, but the extra penalty circles made themselves felt. Following him, Loginov finished in fifth place, retaining the second place in the overall World Cup standings.
Other Russian biathletes succeeded in pursuing the race. Evgeny Garanichev finished in tenth place with one penalty, although he had to start 21st. Maxim Tsvetkov accomplished an imperceptible at first glance feat - he finished the race with the 25th, but played at the same time 31st position. We can say that the return of the world champion in the main part of the Russian national team took place.
Russian girls have also achieved some success. Failures in the sprint did not allow them to seriously hope for medals in pursuit. But if it were not for the starting handicaps, they would definitely be on the first roles. Evgenia Pavlova made three misses, but played nine positions and became the 13th. Ekaterina Yurlova-Perkht finished after her.
But the biggest surprise was presented by Margarita Vasilyeva. The 53rd start number did not prevent her from ending up in the 18th. It is difficult to imagine how high she would have climbed, if not for two misses in the third shooting. In all circles, where the athlete did not have a penalty for shooting, she was definitely in the top ten in speed.
Victory in the women's race was won by Lisa Vittozzi, who won the golden double at the stage in Oberhof. In the middle of the race, her closest pursuers were Dorothea Wierer and Anais Bescon, but both were left without medals - the French faced Italian when she slowed down to drink, and both girls were in the snow. Their fall took advantage of Anastasia Kuzmina, who came to the finish line second and won the second medal for the season. Not counting on many things because of five blunders, Anais Chevalier was able to eventually take third place.