Today during the IBU Cup Final in Khanty-Mansiysk all the athletes tried a new biathlon discipline — Super Sprint. The fastest competition in the international calendar was exciting for spectators and a real challenge for athletes.
Qualification took place in the morning — girls had to go through two shooting ranges and 2400m distance at noon. A chance to take part in the finals got only 30 best athletes. This time the distance became longer — 4000m with four shooting ranges. After mass start biathletes were all together on the track. A hard uphill didn’t change anything but definitely put some girls on a test before a shooting range.
Russian athletes Kristina Reztsova and Tamara Voronina were the first ones to shoot all the targets clean in the first shooting. Right after them Horchler sisters shoot clean and started to pursuit the leaders. However Russians managed to get only a few seconds closer in such a small time — chasing group was still behind them. The second lap was not so different from the first one — Kristina Reztsova still was the fastest and the clearest shooter. Later on Karolin and Nadine Horchler and Kristina’s teammate Tamara Voronina finished shooting and ran after the leader. Alexia Runggaldier — the silver girl of the qualification — joined them very soon.
The standings were the next challenge. Kristina Reztsova used all her extra bullets but couldn’t avoid a penalty loop. The best of the girls was Karolin Horchler who now took the leading role. Tamara Voronina hit all the targets with six bullets, Nadine stayed very close. Evgenia Pavlova was also after the gold medal and she was not too far behind. The German athlete didn’t even blink during the last shooting and hit all five targets in just a few seconds. This was her golden ticket. Her older sister Nadine and Evgenia Pavlova of Russia also shot clean. And if the owner of the gold medal was decided before the finish, the intrigue around the silver medal was on till the last meters of the race. On the finish line Nadine appeared stronger than Evgenia.
This way Horchler sisters took two medals out of three. The bronze medal was won by Tamara Voronina and was the first IBU Cup medal for her. Before that she only competed among juniors. Russia’s Evgenia Pavlova placed forth, Susanne Hoffmann of Austria was the fifth while Johanna Skottheim from Sweden finished sixth.