The Russian Biathlon Championships started on Monday with two sprint races. The weather in Khanty-Mansiysk was quite difficult for this species - warm and humid. In such conditions, an important role is played not only by the preparation of the athlete, but also by the work of the skis: they quickly absorb moisture and can easily "stand up" right at the distance.
In addition, the somewhat unusual configuration of the track left its mark on the final result. According to coach Sergey Bashkirov, there is a peculiar approach to the firing line - immediately from the ascent, which means that the participants do not have the opportunity to take a breath before shooting.
The men were the first to start. The best acceleration was shown by the main favorites Eduard Latypov and Daniil Serokhvostov, who went into battle for each other. On the approach to the bed, they were separated by only 0.4 seconds, but the three-time medalist of the Olympic Games in Beijing closed the targets much faster and secured a 2.5 second advantage. In general, a large group of biathletes coped with the lie down to zero, including Pyotr Pashchenko, Nikita Porshnev, Kirill Bazhin, Maxim Tsvetkov, Karim Khalili and Belarusian Anton Smolsky.
But many of them had problems with speed. So, Latypov, who started later, beat Smolsky in the second round by 15.4 seconds, and Tsvetkov - by almost 20. Khalili, usually characterized by a high tempo on the track, lost to Eduard for more than a minute. Only Porshnev, who approached the second turn third with a gap of 17.7 seconds from the leader, rolled the skis decently.
Latypova was once again let down by the rack. The Bashkir athlete quickly closed three targets, and then aimed the fourth for a long time. As a result, this shot turned out to be accurate, but the fifth still went into the "milk".
Graytailstov also failed to cope with nerves, also misfiring, but he spent much less time on the line than his teammate and left the shooting range with an advantage over him by 9.4 seconds.
The only one of the three leaders to cope flawlessly with the Porshnev stand, and this was the key to his victory. Although Serokhvostov received information during the course of the race that Nikita improved his result, one of the fastest Russian biathletes could not win back the gap. As a result, he has silver.
"The track is tough, I started running from the first lap, knowing that most likely the skis would get up in time for the last laps. This was justified, as they did get up even earlier than I expected. I was told that Porshnev was gone ten seconds away. I thought I could "take it off" on the last lap, but I was told the same thing about every cut-off. I just couldn't go stronger, I tried, but it didn't work out," Daniil said on Match TV.
Latypov, who was content with bronze this time, admitted that the race was so difficult for him that he did not even think about increasing the pace. According to him, after the first lap, the legs were already poorly obeyed - I had to endure and try not to "eat" on the climbs. He also lamented the difficult approach to the shooting range, which led to a misfire on the rack.
"Of course, there was a waste of time on the shooting, but it turned out like this: I recovered too much, after the third shot I began to shake a little, muscle tremor. The approach here is very complicated, I did not cope with this moment. I wanted to work on quality, but I overstayed the shot. I was able to finish off the fourth, but on the fifth there was not enough concentration, so I missed it, "the athlete explained.
And Porshnev, who plays for Khanty-Mansiysk, noted the work of the skis, which turned out to be perfectly prepared for capricious weather. He thanked his team for that. He also separately noted the fans for their support - especially the family.
"Here's a wife, a daughter, and I've heard them on every lap. They stood there screaming at me. It was insanely nice. I knew I was in pretty good shape. Already in Tyumen, he showed quite close to the leaders of the results. I realized that I was not sick and trained here, at home, I had a normal preparation. And here is the weather, under which our service is able to prepare skis well. Therefore, we managed to perform well, "the freshly baked champion of Russia shared.
The Triumph of the Skier
The women's race turned out to be much more exciting and intriguing, and the result was sensational. The fastest starting lap was expectedly overcome by Irina Kazakevich, who regularly demonstrates her sprint qualities on the track. But with the shooting of Mikhail Shashilov's ward this season, it does not go well at all. This time, the difficulties began already on the bed: two misses threw Irina immediately 46 seconds from Natalia Gerbulova, who started right in front of her and closed all the targets. And hopes for the awards of the native of Perm, who for some time was in the lead, crossed out three marks on the rack.
But Anastasia Egorova ran perfectly, and shot without misfires. For a long time after the finish of the Murmansk woman, no one even came close to encroaching on her time, and it seemed that the girl was waiting for the first gold of the national championship in her career. Larisa Kuklina with zero misses lost to her by 37.5 seconds, and Evgenia Burtasova - 29.1. Meanwhile, a phenomenal result was demonstrated by Anastasia Goreeva. She made one mistake on each firing line, but was able to get ahead of both Kuklina and Burtasova, playing more than 30 seconds on the last lap.
At the same time, the Muscovite admitted that she did not even run at full power, although she gave almost all her strength. According to Anastasia, after an incident at the final stage of the Russian Cup, when she became ill at the finish of the pace, she is afraid of a repetition of such a situation and is reinsured.
"I tried to decompose the distance and save strength, although the coaches, on the contrary, said that you need to drive from the first laps while the skis are going well. But I went with a margin and at the finish I already gave out what I could. But I do not run 100%, there is a certain barrier that I am afraid to cross, "the biathlete shared after the race.
Meanwhile, Natalia Shevchenko, a former skier who has been competing in biathlon for the first year, has come to the forefront. A lot of noise was made by Ekaterina Noskova, who became the winner of the national ski championship last week, and now a kind of answer has followed.
Shevchenko started under the 55th number, when many leaders had already finished, and the track was already broken. However, the athlete quickly overcame the first lap, only three seconds behind Kazakevich, and after accurate shooting lying down by the same amount bypassed Yegorova. Everything was decided by the rack, and Shashilov's ward coped with it brilliantly. She left the shooting range with an advantage of ten seconds and not only managed to hold it, but also increased it to 35.6.
"For the last two days I was constantly thinking about this race, I really wanted to win. That thought has always been with me. And when I came to the counter, I thought: either now or never. She shot to zero and was already confident of her victory. The last lap I tried to pass smoothly, not to force anywhere, so as not to lose the advantage. Today we managed to get high from the shooting, but not from the race itself. It is very difficult to run: on the turns, on the descents everything is broken - the main thing is not to fall, "the winner shared.
Egorova, in turn, noted that she was pleased with the good result. According to Anastasia, the current season was psychologically difficult for her because of not getting into the national team.
"Self-esteem, of course, was hit hard. Today I just relaxed. Yesterday and today there was no excitement. Throughout the season, before each race, I was worried, and today I let go - and everything worked out, "the biathlete admitted.