Men’s sprint was right after the women one. The mark on the thermometer was approaching zero by lunchtime — it is difficult to imagine a more comfortable temperature for a hot fight. At the same time, the wind at the stadium grew stronger and made participants pay an extra attention to shooting.
Russia was represented by six athletes. The first of them to start was bib 5 Alexey Volkov. Contrary to the hopes of local fans, Super Sprint for the biathlete from Ugra was not a success, but Alexey didn’t give up and stayed optimistic about the second race of the IBU Cup Final.
Following him Alexey Slepov and Petr Pashchenko went to the track. Both of them showed the two best speeds on 2.9 km time split. Slepov shot clean on the first range but Pashchenko could not repeat the success of his teammate and made one mistake.
Philip Nawrath of Germany who has some experience competing at the World Cup started the race with an impressive speed. Quick and accurate work on the first shooting allowed German athlete to catch up with the Russians. Leaders went shoulder-to-shoulder the next part of the race. The second shooting was a decisive moment of the race. Alexey Slepov shot clean, while Nawrath made two mistakes and had to forget about medals. In the meantime the Russian duet was pressed by Norwegians after first shooting. Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen and Vegard Gjermundshaug shot clean and went to the track in the fight for gold. Alexander Loginov of Russia joined the fight for the win right after that.
Once again, the second shooting brought changes. Vegard Gjermundshaug couldn’t managed the shooting and made four mistakes. Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen cleaned all the targets, but still was not as fast as Alexey Slepov. Alexander Loginov again became the fastest on the track and got to the second shooting with a significant advantage, but could not hit all the targets – the last shot caused him a penalty. However, the speed on the track allowed to pass an additional 150 meters without significant loss: Loginov left the stadium with the second result.
Despite the fact that the top three were separated by seconds neither of the opponents managed to repeat the success of Alexey Slepov. Russian athlete passed the distance with 24:34.7 and won the gold medal. Alexander Loginov became the silver medalist. Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen placed third. In addition, the Norwegian biathlete was the winner of IBU Cup Sprint Score. IBU Cup National Score was won by team Norway.