Andreas Birnbacher and Tora Berger won the first Mass Start competitions of the season on the final day of IBU World Cup 3 from Pokljuka, Slovenia.
Birnbacher was the Mass Start champion last year and continued his winning ways by hitting all 20 targets and skiing to a comfortable victory on the final lap. Second place went to Jakov Fak, and Tim Burke was 3rd, each with two penalties.
The third place finish was Burke’s first podium in three years. JP Le Guellec was 21st with two penalties.
Tora Berger used her excellent standing shooting skills to win another competition this year, furthering her already tight grip on the total score championship. Berger missed two targets in very foggy conditions in the second shooting stage, but hit the remaining 18 on her way to gold. Miriam Gossner was in second place with four penalties, and Gabriela Soukalova was third with two penalties.
The fog was very thick during the second and third shooting bouts, which is reflected in the unusally high number of penalties.
Rosanna Crawford finished a respectable 21st with five penalties in her first career Mass Start competition.
The IBU World Cup circuit now takes a break for the Christmas holidays, but will be back for IBU World Cup 4 from Oberhof, Germany on January 3-6.