Two victories on the tracks of the World Cup
This weekend, skiers had the opportunity to try out the tracks of the World Cup in Oberstdorf, which will be held in 2021. The World Cup stage was held there, at which medals were played in a skiathlon and sprint in the classic move.
Alexander Bolshunov reaffirmed his most serious claim to victory in the overall standings. The 15 km race with classic and 15 km skate brought the Russian skier the third in a row gold. At the beginning of the race, he took an active part in the pursuit of the Finnish Iivo Niskanen, which forced all participants to join the fight from the first kilometers. This turn of events was not expected by Johannes Hösflot Klebo, who was the last before Bolshunov to win three victories in a row. He left the race, deciding to save energy for the sprint, and the Russians had the opportunity to further break away from the Norwegian in the World Cup.
Bolshunov felt great at a distance and did not forget to collect points at intermediate finishes. He had enough strength right up to the finish line, to which 14 skiers got together right away. At the right moment, the Russian accelerated and left behind a group of four Norwegians. For Bolshunov, this victory was the 13th in his career. In addition to him, Andrei Larkov, Yevgeny Belov and Alexander Bessmertnykh also ended up in the top ten.
In the sprint, Klebo still took his. When he reached the finals, from the first meters he broke away from his rivals, which happens quite rarely in such short distances. In the last race, Gleb Retivykh could compete with him, but the Russian took the last place. Bolshunov tried to earn the maximum number of points, but in the semifinals he did not have enough strength to finish the jerk, and at the end of the day he took seventh place. This turned out to be enough to break away in the overall standings of the World Cup from Klebo by 235 points - Bolshunov will remain the leader of the competition for at least two more races.
The stage in Oberstdorf was victorious for Natalia Nepryaeva. She won the sprint competition, winning the first gold for Russian skiers since December 2018. The key to success was that the sprint track consisted of a long climb, which made it impossible for clean sprinters to deal with such a versatile skier as Nepryaeva. She was the best both in qualification and in every elimination race, leaving behind the leader of the sprint World Cup Anamaria Lampich from Slovenia.
This victory allowed Nepryaeva to make a breakthrough in second place in the overall standings of the World Cup. According to the results of the skiathlon, in which the Russian woman became the sixth, she slightly reduced the gap from the Norwegian Heidi Weng. In the sprint, she dropped out following the results of the semifinals, and now Nepryaeva, again, like a year ago, is second only to Theresa Johaug in the fight for the Big Crystal Globe.
Tretyakov’s leadership on the track and standings
In Königssee, Germany, competitions were held as part of the Bobsleigh and Skeleton World Cup. Russian athlete Alexander Tretyakov managed to win their third victory in a season and the 17th in a career. After the first attempt, the Olympic champion Sochi lost to the winner of the competition in Pyeongchang Yoon Sung Bin, who set the track record. But in the end, Tretyakov surpassed the Korean skeletonist by six hundred seconds.
This success was important for Tretyakov in terms of the struggle for the Big Crystal Globe. In the overall standings, the Russian broke into first place, beating the Latvian Martins Dukurs, who showed only the seventh result in Königssee.
The winning run at the BMW IBSF World Cup Men's Skeleton in Königssee today! # BMWIBSF # KSEE20pic.twitter.com / SvjkzSZH6v- IBSF (@IBSFsliding) January 24, 2020
Elena Nikitina, however, does not succeed in defending last year's World Cup title. She returned to the podium and became the bronze medalist of the competition, but at the same time lost to the leaders of the overall classification - Jacqueline Lölling and Tina Herrmann. The Russian woman fell to fourth place in the sum of points scored for the season. There are only two stages of the World Cup to somehow rectify the situation.
Double jump sleigh for silver
The next stage of the Luge World Cup took place in Sigulda, whose track is considered one of the happiest for the Russian team. The first medal in these competitions was won by Tatyana Ivanova. She showed the eighth result after the first attempt, but was able to eventually rise to second place. True, she lost her main rival in the overall standings of Julia Taubitz from Germany.
The competition in men's single sleigh was held the next day in extremely difficult conditions. Because of this, many favorites were outside the first twenty after the first attempt. But the second descent put everyone in their places, and the World Cup leader Roman Repilov brought unexpected silver, which he was hardly hoping for after 22nd place.
The stage in Sigulda was the third and final, at which medals were played in the sprint. Gold at these competitions was won by Semyon Pavlichenko - since last season he has not risen to the highest step of the podium. For women, silver and bronze went to Victoria Demchenko and Tatyana Ivanova, and Taubits again became the winner. Because of this, Ivanova dropped to the second place in the overall standings of the World Cup. In men, Repilov remains the leader, but because of 12th place in the sprint, he lost a lot of points relative to the Italian Kevin Fishnaller.
The long-awaited success in the mogul
For the first time since December 2017, a Russian athlete won the medal in the Mogul competition at the World Cup. Anastasia Smirnova became the bronze medalist of the stage in the Canadian Mont-Tremblant. The success of the 17-year-old athlete was expected - last year she was recognized as the rising star of the ski freestyle thanks to her fourth place in the World Cup. In Canada, she lost only to Perrin Laffon from France, who won all the gold of the season, and to the experienced representative of Kazakhstan, Yulia Galysheva.
Personal and relay gold of Elistratov
The European Short Track Championship was held in Hungarian Debrecen. The Russian team for the third time in a row at these competitions took third place in the medal standings, losing to skaters from the Netherlands and Hungary.
Semyon Elistratov was the best in the Russian team, showing more impressive results from run to run. After fifth place in the 1500 meter race, he won two bronzes at shorter distances. Further, Elistratov made a 3,000-meter super final and won gold, and there were enough points earned in the race to take third place in the all-around. In the end, he, together with Daniil Eybog, Denis Hayrapetyan and Pavel Sitnikov, became the champion of Europe in the relay.
The girls performed more modestly, but also did not remain without medals. Ekaterina Efremenkova also selected for the 3000-meter race and came to the finish second after the Italian Arianna Fontana. Half an hour later, she won the bronze medal in the relay, which also won Sophia Prosvirnova, Emin Malagich and Ekaterina Konstantinova.