Yesterday’s Pursuit competitions were filled with controversy and drama on the shooting range. Tora Berger finished first in a competition that saw Magdalena Neuner crossfire four rounds, while Anton Shipulin was victorious in a competition where a target malfunction resulted in officials awarding a tie for second place.
In the first standing shooting of the Women’s Pursuit (IBU article, results), Berger went into lane two behind Neuner, only to find that Neuner had crossfired four times on her lane without being notified by the range officials. Berger changed lanes and despite two penalties managed to stay near the lead pack. Berger took the lead in the final standing shooting by hitting all five targets, and finished 17.9 seconds ahead of Helena Ekholm and 25.1 seconds ahead of Marie Laure Brunet, both of whom shot clean.
Zina Kocher was 30th (+4:29.7, five penalties), Sara Studebaker was 42nd (+5:21.4, three penalties), Megan Imrie was 43rd (+5:32.0, six penalties) and Annalies Cook was 55th (+8:07.7, eight penalties).
Shipulin won the Men’s Pursuit (IBU article, results), but there was considerable controversy over who came second. A target failed to fall after it was hit by Arnd Peiffer in the first standing shooting, meaning he did a penalty loop he was not required to. Martin and Simon Fourcade went on to cross the finish line second and third, but after a protest by the Germans, Peiffer’s time was adjusted, and the Competition Jury ultimately awarded Peiffer and Martin Fourcade a tie for second. Poor Simon Fourcade was bumped off the podium, in a decision that was difficult for all involved, but ultimately as fair as it possibly could be.
Tim Burke finished 16th (+1:49.2, five penalties), Lowell Bailey was 18th (+1:56.5, three penalties), Brendan Green was 20th (+2:07.2, one penalty), Jay Hakkinen was 27th (+2:48.3, four penalties), Russell Currier was 35th (+3:05.6, eight penalties) and Scott Perras was 47th (+4:39.4, six penalties).
IBU World Cup 6 is in Antholz-Anterselva and begins with the Women’s Sprint on 19 January.