Another Title for Martin Fourcade
|16.03.2012, Khanty Mansiysk / IBU Info. Dept. JK|
|Sprint Cup Victory|
|France’s Martin Fourcade won the sprint here today with 10-for-10 shooting in 26:40.2. His victory sealed the seasonal Sprint Cup while adding to his lead in the battle for the Total Score title. Second went to Germany’s Arnd Peiffer, with one penalty, 5.3 seconds back, while Sweden’s clean-shooting Fredrik Lindström after his Bronze medal in last Sunday’s IBU World Championships mass start, picked up third place, 6.7 seconds back.
USA’s Burke in Fourth
Fourth went to Tim Burke of the USA, with one penalty, 23.4 seconds back. Fifth went to Fourcade’s closest challenger for the Total Score, Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway, also with one penalty, 24.3 seconds back. Svendsen’s teammate Tarjei Boe finished sixth, with one penalty, 25.8 seconds back.
Nice Day in Siberia
Today was a nice day for biathlon by Siberian standards—minus 4 Celsius, partly sunny and the wind coming from the back of the shooting range, causing few problems. The competition developed slowly as several men shot clean in prone including most of the Russian stars like Evegeny Ustyugov, but then picked up several penalties in standing. Number 6 Peiffer took the early lead with a clean prone stage and strong skiing. He had a single penalty in standing, but was skiing fast enough to take the lead.
Fourcade in Control
Unfortunately for Peiffer, the Yellow/Red–wearing Fourcade was in the competition. The triple World Champion showed no letdown since last Sunday. His clean fast prone stage put him 23 seconds behind Peiffer. He picked up the pace before standing, then cleaned that stage. He left the stadium with a 23 second lead and although he slowed sown over the final 3.3K, Fourcade still had enough left to top the German. Sweden’s Lindström made a run at the top of the podium with his two clean stages and tried in vain to catch Peiffer, but fell 1.4 seconds short. Burke had a prone penalty which put him in 34th position after the prone stage, however he shot clean, and flew around the tracks for his best result in over two years in fourth, just behind Lindström.
Gave My Best
Fourcade said his win did not come as easily as it looked. “I looked at my shooting results from the season today and figured out what it would take to shoot clean today. I gave my best on the shooting range; it is never easy…I am quite proud to win in such hard ski conditions today. My skis were not as good as some times this season, but I think we will work that out before the pursuit.”
He added that a big part of his victory came from his mind.”I took off Monday and Tuesday this week, but my mind was focused on the race. I have not slept for the past three nights; it was hard to keep calm. But today, Ole (Einar Björndalen) reminded that the key to winning is in the mind.”
Always Good Here
Peiffer who won the Sprint World Championship here last year and had the first victory of his career explained his good results. “I always have good races here; I am always happy to be here. As Martin said ‘it your head is ready you will do a good race’ and I am always ready here.”
Not Hard to be Second
He was not disappointed in his second place, saying, “I was just happy to be on the podium. It is not hard to be second when you are behind Martin who is the best biathlete in the world.”
Fight for the Swedish Flag
Lindström, almost smiling as much as when he won his Bronze medal last Sunday said he was still full of adrenalin and was also inspired by Swedish Team Leader Staffan Eklund’s words this morning in a team meeting. “Fight for the Swedish flag and keep up the good work!”