Tarjei Boe picked up his fourth win of the season and Helena Ekholm earned her second in the Men’s and Women’s Mass Start competitions in Oberhof, Germany.
Boe won the Men’s 15 km Mass Start in a time of 39:51.3 with two penalties. Boe was in the lead pack for the first two shooting stages and took the lead by shooting clean in his first standing stage. He was able to hang on to his lead even with a penalty in his final standing stage, as rivals Ivan Tcherezov and Martin Fourcade also had one penalty.
Emil Hegle Svendsen shot clean in his final standing stage to slip in behind Boe but could not catch him on the final loop, finishing 2.4 seconds behind with three penalties. Tcherezov was right behind Svendsen for third place, 4.1 seconds back of Boe with two penalties.
JP Le Guellec was very accurate on the range, missing just once in his final standing stage to finish 20th place, 1:50.4 behind Boe. Brendan Green was 25th, 2:19.8 back with two penalties.
In the Women’s 12.5 km Mass Start, Helena Ekholm skied patiently and relied on clean shooting to move up the standings and into an exciting final lap sprint with Andrea Henkel and Svetlana Sleptsova. Each athlete took the lead at some point during the final lap, with Henkel leading the charge most of the way until the final 200 metres when Ekholm seized the lead with a powerful sprint finish. Ekholm won in a time of 39:22.9, with Henkel in second (1.6 seconds back, two penalties) and Sleptsova in third (5.2 seconds back, no penalties).
Laura Spector came in 25th, 4:05.9 back with four penalties.
The Mass Start competitions mark the end of IBU World Cup #4 in Oberhof. The IBU has produced a video montage of the competition that saw over 100,000 biathlon fans turn out in foggy, rainy, windy conditions in a testament to the popularity of the sport in Germany.
The next stop on the World Cup circuit is IBU World Cup #5 in Ruhpolding, Germany. The first competition is the Men’s 20 km Individual on 12 December.