Photo Finish Victory for Svendsen in Pursuit
|10.02.2013, Nove Mesto na Morave / IBU Info JK|
|Battle in the Final Meters|
|Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen claimed his second individual Gold medal in the men’s 12.5K pursuit today with a furious sprint in the final 100 meters to edge France’s Martin Fourcade by one-tenth-of-a-second. Svendsen had one penalty in his 32:55.1 victory. Russia’s Anton Shipulin finished third, with one penalty, 3.6 seconds back.
Fourth went to Shipulin’s teammate, Dmitry Malyshko who shot clean, 5.4 seconds back. Austria’s Dominik Landertinger also shot clean in fifth, 20.4 seconds back, while Slovenia’s Jakov Fak finished sixth, with one penalty, 29.7 seconds back.
Svendsen and Fourcade
Svendsen started with an eight second lead that Fourcade closed within the first kilometer. The two men shot together in prone, both clean, leaving with about 18 seconds on a group of four that included Fak, Shipulin, Boeuf and Malyshko. In the second prone, Svendsen shot clean while Fourcade had a single penalty and fell behind Fak and Shipulin.
In the first standing stage, Svendsen again cleaned, maintaining a 17 second lead over Fak, who also cleaned and Malyshko, who cleaned and moved into third position. Shipulin and Fourcade both had a penalty and fell 17 seconds behind the second and third men. As they entered the final standing stage, these five men were separated from the rest of the field by 15 seconds. Svendsen needed to clean to win but missed a shot. Still he went out in the lead, but just 1.9 seconds ahead of Malyshko who cleaned. Fak missed a shot and fell to fifth position, while Fourcade and Shipulin cleaned and moved into third and fourth, 10 seconds back.
Battle in Final Loop
In the last loop, the top four men came together with Fourcade taking over the lead, by just a meter as they battled down the final meters. Fourcade lunged for the finish line but Svendsen claimed the win by the smallest of margins.
Svendsen said that the last loop was, "stressful, with four guys all trying for the Gold medal... I was very surprised when they came up on me. Before that, I thought it was between me and Malyshko."At one point, he was not sure of the win. "I thought that it was over for me when Martin got a five-meter gap on me in the last uphill, after I had a bit of a crash with Anton. But I had some energy left and it worked out...I had a good feeling when I looked to the right at the finish, I thought I had a one or two cm gap on him."
With three Gold medals in three competitions, Svendsen admitted, "This is a dream and I am very thankful and very lucky...of course the 20K is on Thursday and I am in very good shape, so I will try to win again."
Fourcade was not happy about the loss. "I am disappointed; it was really hard for me to lose today. I felt very good today. When I saw him in the last meters I knew it would be hard to beat him... I will think about this 2.4 cm everyday when I train next summer."
Shipulin said he was happy to be on the podium with Russia's first medal, but added, "This is just a start for our team... a good start." However, he admitted that he was not surprised when the top two men got away, but added, "The next time I will be ready to match them."