Latvian biathlete Baiba Bendika won ninth in Pokļuka on Sunday place in the World Championships 12.5 kilometers with a joint start, although before the last shooting competed for a place in the top three. The Austrian Līza Teresa Hauser was crowned the champion, with whom Bendika started the last shooting. The Latvian did not set two goals, but the competitor shot unmistakably, securing the title.
Hauser, who was the only one of the 30 athletes to shoot all 20 goals, finished after 36 minutes and 5.7 seconds, leaving behind three Norwegians. Ingrida Lanmarka Tandrevolla finished 21.7 seconds later, Tiril Ekhof was 1.3 seconds behind, surpassing Marti Ulsbu-Reiselann by just six tenths of a second. Ekhofa made three mistakes, but the other two Norwegians made one penalty lap each.
Bendika, who made two mistakes, lost one to the champion. minute and 14.3 seconds, giving the ninth place. Bendik started the race cautiously in the final ten of the big group, but in the first line of fire, he shot unmistakably, which allowed him to take the ninth place six seconds behind the leader. Before the second shooting, Cēsis climbed to the seventh place and was again unmistakable, giving the second position 2.6 seconds behind Hauser.
In the next intermediate finish at the 5.8 km mark, the leading group of nine athletes had formed within 14 seconds. Bendika was fourth before the first shooting and again closed five of the five, again forming a duo of leaders with Hauser. Ekhof was less than 19 seconds behind the Latvian
The duo of Hauser and Bendika were in the lead until the last shooting, but getting closer came to Ekhof. Bendika made a mistake twice, while Hauser fired flawlessly and went for the gold medal. Two penalty laps threw Bendik to eighth position, but she retreated for another place until the finish. Bendikai was the 12th fastest step in the distance. If in the third and fourth laps she was among the fastest six athletes, then in the last lap after two completed laps she had to settle for the 22nd result.
The ninth place in the world championship is the repeated best result of Latvian women’s biathlon. Last year, Bendika reached this position in the driving competition. In the overall World Cup standings after four out of five races, the Frenchman Gilles Simona, who finished in 16th place today, has accumulated 181 points, the second place with 175 points is taken by Ulsbourg-Reiselanna, and the third with 171 points is Hauser, who is ahead of Ekhof by one point. Bendika with the 32 points earned on Sunday is in the 27th place.
In the overall classification, the leader with 803 points is Ekhofa, further Hanna Ēberja from Sweden finished seventh on Sunday with 765 points, and Ulsbu-Reiselanna was third with 759 points. Bendika 125 points gives 42nd place. Participation in this distance was earned by the best biathlete in Latvia in previous competitions in Pokļuka. Latvian women’s national team leader Bendika missed the first two stages of the World Cup this season after falling ill with Covid-19. After that, she has not started in the distance with a common start.
Also in the previous season she entered the competition for the only time this time. discipline in the world championships, where with five mistakes in shooting took 18th place. This is her best result when she starts twice in this discipline at the world championships. Last season, Norwegian Marte Ulsbu Reiselanna was crowned world champion in this discipline. The second place was taken by the Italian Dorothea Virere, and the third – by the Swedish Hannah Eberja.
Last season in the distance with a joint start Vīrere celebrated the victory in the overall cup, but Bendika took the 38th place. It has already been reported that in Pokļuka Bendika was in the 26th place in the sprint with three errors in shooting, in the driving with two “poodles” he was in the 18th place, but in the “classic” he did not hit five of the 20 goals and took the 52nd place.
Latvia biathlete Andrejs Rastorgujevs on Sunday in Pokļuka won the 22nd place in the world championship competitions in the 15-kilometer distance with a common start. Meanwhile, the Norwegian champion Sturl Holm Legreid was crowned the world champion, who secured the title after the last shooting and was out of reach in the last lap.
Rastorguyev was in the middle of the big group at the beginning of the competition, but in the first shot he made two mistakes while lying down, due to which he resigned to the 28th place five seconds behind the two-goal Norwegian Juhannes Tinggnes Be. In the distance, the Aluksne climbed up a bit, but did not cover another goal and after the shooting he was in the 24th position one minute and 17 seconds behind the leaders.
Another mistake in shooting upright did not allow Rastorguyev to rise higher, moreover, the leading athletes were already two minutes away. After the third fire, the trio of leaders was formed by biathletes, who had maintained impeccable accuracy – Legreid, home favorite Jakov Fax and Austrian Simon Eders.
Before the last shot, Leggree had an eight-second lead over his closest followers, but he was the first to make a mistake in the line of fire, which was left with one unshot goal. The failure also hit Eder, while Fax fired slowly and wisely, but did not set a final goal that might have cost him a medal. Leegre’s advantage over Faku was less than ten seconds, but Eders was right behind the Slovak.
In the last lap in the battle for medals Frenchman Kenten Fijon Maye and Norwegian Juhann Dale also broke up, leading to the disarming of the top three. If Lēgrēds was in a safe lead in the last lap and finished in proud loneliness, with the stopwatch stopping at 36 minutes and 27.2 seconds, then the fight for the other medals was quite intense. Dale finished 10.2 seconds later, but after another 2.6 seconds, Fillon Maye crossed the finish line. The two athletes also skied two penalty laps for an additional 15 kilometers. Eders was more than ten seconds behind the podium, and seven seconds later Fax finished just ahead of Tarjee Be.
Rastorgujev also left one open target in the last shooting, but regained one position and was 23rd. place. By the finish, he played another place and was 22nd, with Legreide losing two minutes and 55.1 seconds. Rastorgujev had the 21st fastest time on the track. In the overall World Cup standings, the first with 175 points is T.Be, 166 points are in JTB, but there are less points in May. Rastorgujev is in 29th place with 30 points. In the sum of all disciplines, the first three are taken by the Norwegians – 871 points in JTB, 839 points in Leegreide and 720 points in Dal. Rastorgujev has accumulated 212 points, which gives him 27th place.
Rastorgujev has started this season in the World Cup distance with a joint start in the second stage on the German track in Oberhof, where he ranked 25th with five “poodles”. Last season, Rastorguyev competed twice in the World Cup in this discipline. In the duel with two shooting errors, he took 16th place, but in Nove Mesto he remained in the last 30th place, because he missed the target eight out of 20 times.
Last season, Norwegian Juhann Tinggenes Bay became the world champion in this discipline. The other places were taken by the French – the second Kenten Fillon Maye, and the third – Emilien Jacqueline. In the world championships, Rastorgujev went twice in the distance with a joint start, reaching the best result in 2019 in Estesund, when he took the 25th place. Last season, in the distance with a joint start in the overall World Cup, the victory was celebrated in BYT, but Rastorgujev took 33rd place.
Already It is reported that in Pokļuka, Rastorgujevs was ranked 15th in the sprint with one error in shooting, he was tenth in the three-poodle drive, but in the individual distance of 20 kilometers with two errors in the line of fire he took 18th place. On Sunday, before that, women competed in the 12.5-kilometer distance with a joint start, with Baibai Bendika winning the high ninth place. After the planetary championship, there will be two stages of the World Cup in Nove Mesto, but the end of the season is scheduled for the second half of March in Estesund.