Baiba Bendika, Sanita Buliņa and Annija Keita Sabule will start the world biathlon championship in Pokļuka today in the 7.5 kilometer sprint. The competition will start at 15.30, and it will be broadcast live on Latvian Television Channel 7 (LTV7). Leading Latvian biathlete Bendika will go fourth on the track, Buliņa will be 40th, and Sabule 75th among 99 athletes.
Latvian women’s teams leader Bendika missed the first two stages of the World Cup this season after falling ill with Covid-19. In two stages on the Austrian track in Hohfilzen, she finished 20th and 85th in the sprint with one and five penalty laps, respectively. At the Oberhof, Bendika took 21st place in the sprint with two errors in shooting and 48th place with three “poodles”.
European Championship in Poland At the end of January, the best Latvian biathlete won a gold medal with one penalty lap. Last season, Bendika participated in eight sprint races as part of the PK competition. The highest achievement with one missed bullet was 12th place in the world championship on the Italian track in Antholca, as well as 15th place in the last stage of the season in Kontiolahti.
In the 2019/2020 season, the sprint discipline was not included in the World Cup stage in Pokļuka. In the 2015/2016 PK stage on the Kenmore track in Canada, Bendika reached the highest place in the history of Latvian women’s biathlon in the PK competition – the fifth. In the first sprint race in Hohfilzen, the party lacked only four places and 10.5 seconds to enter the driving competition with the perfect shot – the 64th place among 109 athletes. In the second stage in Hohfilzen she had four shooting errors and 103rd place. Similar results for Buliņa also in Oberhof – 99th and 91st place.
At last year’s World Championships in Antholca-Anterselv, Bulina made his 98th place debut in individual disciplines . For Sabule, this will be his debut at the World Championships for adults. In the World Cup this season she participated in both sprint races in Kontiolahti, taking the 99th place with four errors in shooting and finishing in 69th place with perfect shooting. Last season, the world champion in sprinting was Norwegian Marte Ulsbu-Reiselanna, who overtook the American Susan Dankley and the Czech Lucy Harvatov.
World Championship the results are also included in the overall ranking of the World Cup. After six sprint races, the Norwegian Tiril Ekhofa is in the lead with 268 points, her compatriot Marte Ulsbü-Reiselanna has six points less, while the Swedish representative Hanna Ēberja has accumulated 260 points. Bendika is in position 45 with 41 points.
In the overall World Cup ranking after 15 competitions, the first place with 625 points is taken by Norwegian Marte Ulsbū Reiselanna , the second with 617 points is her compatriot Tiril Ekhof, but the first three with 616 points is completed by the Swedish Hannah Eberja. Bendika has scored 55 points, giving him 50th place.
Last season, the German Denīze Hermane remained unbeaten in the overall sprint standings, but the Great Crystal Globe won by Italian Dorothea Virere. The championship will be followed by a chase competition for men and women on Sunday. On Tuesday and Wednesday there will be matches in the classic distance, on Thursday there will be a pair relay, on Saturday – relay relay, but on Sunday there will be endurance competitions with a common start. After the planetary championship, there will be two stages of the Nove Mesto World Cup, and the end of the season is scheduled for the second half of March in Oslo.