Three victories of Latypov

Raubichi hosted the fifth stage of the Commonwealth Biathlon Cup, which gave the fans a bright fight with the participation of Russian athletes. 

Finally, Eduard Latypov began to look more confident during the races.

The bronze medalist of the Beijing Olympics won his first victory in the tournament the previous week: the fourth stage was also held in Belarus.

And this weekend he won all three races, and, for the first time in his career, he did not make a single mistake in the mass start.

On Thursday, the Russian was unmatched in the sprint.

He entered the distance sixth and immediately set a high bar for his pursuers, confidently passing the first lap and clearly working on the prone.

Edward's stance traditionally let him down, but one uncovered target, taking into account good speed, left chances to be among the winners.

Moreover, the leader of the overall Commonwealth Cup standings, Anton Smolsky, who is following, also made a mistake, not hitting once on the prone.

At the same time, the Belarusian did not look as powerful as always, losing 17.2 seconds to the Russian at the finish line.

For a long time, the results of the two athletes were inaccessible to competitors, who, even with clean shooting, could not come close to the time shown by the leaders.

Until Daniil Serokhvostov entered the ski track.

He was ill several times at the start of the season and is still critical of his fitness.

Including because of the large loads in training.

“I think that last year Serokhvostov would have defeated me now.

Then we were summed up to the Olympics all the same.

Now my volume has increased by 20-30%.

That's enough.

It’s still hard for me to digest it, but I still run quite well on the track, ”Daniil said in an interview with Match TV.

In support of his words, the biathlete increased his speed from the first lap and even with a miss on the prone for the last segment of the race, he left 12 seconds behind Latypov.

It was not possible to add more and get around the compatriot: Eduard this time was too good on the track.

However, Serokhvostov wedged himself in the final protocol between him and Smolsky and took second place.

In the pursuit race, the main struggle, as expected, unfolded between the same trinity.

More precisely, between Daniil and Anton, because Latypov confidently worked on the first two firing lines, broke away from his pursuers, and even despite mistakes on the counter, he calmly crossed the finish line alone.

Smolsky and Serokhvostov had to work hard to keep their places on the podium, as both failed the third shooting, but corrected themselves before the final round and left for it in company with Karim Khalili.

However, the bronze medalist of the Olympics was clearly inferior to his rivals and quickly fell behind them.

The end of the race was dramatic.

Athletes did not let each other go forward, saving strength for a breakthrough on the last straight.

But none of the biathletes managed to break away on it either.

As a result, the winner of the silver was determined by the photo finish: the Belarusian was a little more lucky - he outran the opponent by five thousandths of a second.

“I sat the whole circle behind Anton, he walked quite quickly.

I did not try to overtake him, because the pace was already high.

There was a plan to sit behind him and try to win at the finish line.

There is a rather strange finish here: if you go first, you take the closest corridor, while the second one has to go along the far one.

We did just that.

I think if there were a couple more meters, I would have overtaken.

I still came out from behind, just before the line I felt that we caught up with him.

Everything was decided by a split.

It would have been longer, I think, I would have snatched the victory, ”said Serokhvostov.

In the mass start, a unique event happened at all: Latypov worked cleanly at all firing lines, which had never happened to him before.

Daniel again tried to impose a fight for gold on him.

Until the last shooting, the Russians walked together along the track.

However, in the second standing Serokhvostov faltered and went to two penalty loops, and the impeccable Edurad went alone to the finish line.

The misfire of the young biathlete made it possible for Smolsky to once again ruffle his opponent's nerves: the athletes, like the day before, left the shooting range together.

But Danya did work on the mistakes and this time did not wait for the last line to determine the winner in the duel with the Belarusian.

He made a dash on one of the climbs and created a small gap, which was enough to save the second line.

“I realized that Anton has much less strength than me, because I easily drove uphill behind him and overtook him.

Today is a very fast finish, so it was possible to go without sticks.

I looked back twice, realized that he would not catch up with me, and calmly drove in.

Happy with the race.

And there was a serious struggle before the target, so there were no forces in the target, ”Daniil admitted.

Smolsky, in turn, gave compliments to Latypov.

According to the Belarusian, he would not get lost at the World Cup stages.

“What Eduard is doing is the level of Johannes Boe.

And with Daniil, we have been fighting side by side for the third day - I like it when rivals make such competition.

Perhaps Daniel had more strength today for the final spurt.

We fought a little on the first climb, and on the second I realized that he was stronger today.

Before the descent, I picked up a good speed, but I did not expect that I could catch up with Daniel, so I was not ready for this myself, ”said Anton.

Latypov, having shot to zero for the first time in his career in a race with four firing lines, was not completely satisfied with himself.

“We will still have meetings with the coach, where we will discuss all the details.

Still, in every success there are some shortcomings.

We need to work on, not to stop, not to relax.

To show stable results, you must always work on yourself, ”said the athlete.

In the fight against Alimbekova

In the women's Commonwealth Cup, the Russians are trying to cope with Dinara Alimbekova-Smolskaya by common efforts.

In early January, she did not look as bright as at the end of last year.

Nevertheless, in Raubichi, with her fans, she was determined only to win.

In the sprint, the Olympic champion did not get gold: Irina Kazakevich was the fastest on Friday.

The Russian, even with one miss on the standing, managed to beat the Belarusian by 2.9 seconds.

And this despite the fact that the opponent shot accurately and had 14 seconds to spare before the final round.

But Dinara failed to keep pace with Kazakevich.

The third in the sprint was Tamara Derbusheva, who was able to climb the podium primarily thanks to perfect shooting, since the rest of the top ten girls were wrong.

Alimbekova-Smolskaya was not upset about the loss for long.

Already in the pursuit, she took revenge on the offender.

We must pay tribute to Kazakevich: for the first two laps, she did not let the Belarusian approach her, and even after the next prone she increased the lead from her opponent to 14 seconds.

However, the stance, like that of Latypov, is not Irina's strong point.

As a result, two misses in the third shooting - and Alimbekova, who had already worked perfectly at the turn, led the intermediate protocol with an advantage of more than 30 seconds.

Alas, let Kazakevich down and the last stand.

As a result, she also let Victoria Slivko go ahead, who made a mistake at the shooting range only twice.

Kazakevich was well behind second place as she exited the stadium, and she seemed to have decided to leave her energy for the mass start.

“The question about the rack is the most relevant, probably in the last six months.

Yes, I can not cope with the shooting so far.

Endless work.

Twice there was a mistake with the last shot.

While I can not say anything.

I think the mistakes of such a plan are from too much desire to hit.

I wouldn’t say that it’s psychological, it’s more something from the inside, excessive tension that does not allow me to complete the shooting, ”admitted Kazakevich at the finish line.

The race from the general start did not work out for Irina either.

Already at the first firing line, she made a mistake twice, and then four more on the rack.

Alimbekova-Smolskaya, on the contrary, started her performance quite well, accurately closing all the targets, but then she started having problems at the shooting range, which dropped her for the number of winners.

No luck this time and Svetlana Kuklina.

At the last stage in Raubichi, she won three gold medals at once and was close to climbing to the top step of the podium again this time.

She was in the group of leaders along with Victoria Slivko and Anastasia Goreeva by the last firing line, but she made three misses at once and was also left without a podium.

And in the duel of the two remaining biathletes, experience won.

Goreeva made a mistake and went to the penalty loop, and 28-year-old Slivko calmly closed all the targets and did not allow her younger compatriot to approach her on the track, finishing with a flag in her hands.

“At the last stand, I didn’t see who was shooting how.

I just tried, there was still the wind on both lines while standing - I tried to hold the rifle as much as possible and carefully handle the descent.

When I had already closed with the last shot, I looked at the settings and was ready to scream there: yes, cheers!

I knew that I would run away.

I understood that I would do everything so that no one could catch up with me, ”Slivko admitted after the finish.

The top three was closed by Anastasia Batmanova.

She fought hard at the finish line for a medal with Anastasia Shevchenko and beat her compatriot by only four tenths of a second.