World Championship for Darya Domracheva
|04.03.2012, Ruhpolding / IBU Info JK|
|Takes Lead at Final Standing Stage|
|Darya Domracheva, well known for comebacks, had the biggest one of all today as she took the lead after the final standing stage in the women’s 10K pursuit and claimed her first World Championship Gold medal. The ever-smiling Belarusian finished in 29:39, with two penalties. Silver went to the Germany’s Magdalena Neuner, with three penalties, 25.1 seconds back, while Bronze went to the surprising Olga Vilukhina of Russia, with one penalty, 1:15.4 back.
Berger in Fourth
Tora Berger of Norway was fourth, with three penalties, 1:25.8 back. Fifth went to Sweden’s Helena Ekholm, with two penalties, 1:28.3 back. Marie Laure Brunet of France was sixth, with two penalties, 1:31.1 back.
Neuner and Domracheva
Conditions did not change much between the men’s and women’s competition. The tone of the competition was set from the start. Neuner was leading; Domracheva chasing. In the first prone, both shot clean. Domracheva pulled closer to Neuner on the tracks. Then in the second prone, both had a single penalty, so again nothing changed. By that time, Brunet with two clean stages was set in third position. There was bit of a break as the two came into the first standing stage again close together. Neuner quickly cleaned, but the Belarusian missed her second shot, making another trip around the penalty loop. Brunet also had a penalty, but stayed in third position, although falling farther back. As the three women headed out for the fourth loop, Neuner had 12 seconds on Domracheva, while Brunet was 1:09 back with Vilukhina another 12 seconds farther back in fourth, with Berger just few seconds behind her.
Clean Final Standing Stage
Neuner had almost 30 seconds on her rival as she came to the final standing stage. She had two penalties, opening the door to Domracheva, who cleaned quickly, much to the delight of her coach Klaus Siebert. Domracheva left with a 12 second lead over the German star. Domracheva commented, “On the shooting range for the last standing, it was only me and my targets, just like a tunnel. I did not know what Lena had shot, but when I left the shooting range, I saw she was on the penalty loop. Then I knew I could win.”
Just Clean to get Bronze
Brunet had another penalty while Vilukhina cleaned and moved into third position, with Ekholm her closest rival but over 10 seconds back. Vilukhina said, “I knew that all I had to do today was clean that standing stage to get the Bronze.”
With 800 meters to go, the competition was over as Domracheva had a 17 second lead over Neuner. The Comeback Kid had done it again, just as she had so many times this season, but this time the reward was a World Championship.
Dreams Do Come True
This was the first World Championship for Domracheva and Belarus. After screaming with delight upon holding her Gold medal for the first time, she said, “Dream on and your dreams will come true…I have dreamed about this all week here and since I was six years old.”
Never Give Up
Falling behind Neuner several times today had no effect on her, nor did Neuner’s faster shooting. “ I did not change my shooting today at all…As long as there are some seconds to make up, you always have a chance…It was a race and you never give up until the finish line.”
Proud of Three Medals
Neuner was happy with her third medal, since she now has one of every color, and still could end the Championships with six…“I am very proud of my medals…I enjoyed wining my third medal…There are still more races to go. I think I can still make more medals. Now, all I want to do is enjoy the atmosphere and the next races.”
An Honor for Vilukhina
Vilukhina’s Bronze was the first senior level medal of her career as well as the first podium of her career. This season, she has placed sixth on six occasions prior to today.
“I am very happy. I’ve had stable results all season. Now this medal is very important for me; my first world Championships medal. It is just an honor for me.”