Another Gold Medal for Tora
|11.03.2012, Ruhpolding / IBU Info. Dept. JK|
|Takes Lead after Final Standing Stage|
|Norway’s Tora Berger won the women’s mass start Gold medal today giving her two individual titles at the IBU World Championships, plus Gold and Bronze in relays. Berger covered the 12.5K course in 35:41.6 with one penalty. Silver went to France’s Marie Laure Brunet, also with one penalty, 8.1 seconds back. Bronze went to Kaisa Mäkäräinen, with one penalty, 12.7 seconds back.
Germany’s Tina Bachmann was fourth, with two penalties, 42.4 seconds back. Belarusian Darya Domracheva had another big comeback to finish fifth with five penalties, 55.6 seconds back, while Russia’s Olga Zaitseva finished sixth, with one penalty, 56 seconds back.
Berger Leads Early
The rain continued to fall as the women left the stadium in the final competition of the 2012 IBU World Championships. In the first prone, 11 women went out within 11 seconds after shooting clean, led by Berger. Magdalena Neuner and Darya Domracheva were 20 seconds back after single penalties. Several women fell on the final corner before the shooting range, but Berger, Domracheva and Neuner all escaped. Berger and Domracheva cleaned, going our first and third with Veronika Vitkova between them. Neuner had a penalty and was 24 seconds back. Eight women were now ahead of the field, led by Domracheva and Mäkäräinen as they came to the first standing stage. Brunet, Vitkova and Mäkäräinen all cleaned, getting a gap on the field. Domracheva and Neuner were now 45 seconds back as they had two and one penalties, respectively.
Three in Front
Mäkäräinen and Brunet were well in control as they came to the final standing stage. Both had single penalties. Berger had a clean round and left the shooting range first, with Brunet and Mäkäräinen close behind. They had substantial leads on Bachmann and Zaitseva who were in fourth and fifth. The three battled until Berger pulled away on the final hill. Brunet fought back but finished second, as Mäkäräinen ended up with Bronze.
Found Out Quickly
Berger was unsure about where she was even though she shot clean in the final standing stage. “I was sure that I was second but found out quickly as I left the shooting range that I was first…On the last loop, I had no plan, I was very tired today and just tried to do my best. I knew I had to fight on that last loop.”
Looking at the Sun
Brunet picked up three Silver medals in her final three competitions here after struggling to be on the podium all season. She explained her preparations. “I rested a lot; spent many days looking outside and enjoying the sunshine.” Regarding her great shooting, she added it was the result of “a lot of work and a great trainer.”
Mäkäräinen spent time resting, before coming to Ruhpolding, but not by choice. “I lost a whole week of training because I was sick in bed with a fever, probably caused by the races in the very cold weather in Kontiolahti…after that I am quite happy with this Bronze medal…I did not lose the Silver, I won the Bronze.”