Darya Domracheva and Jakov Fak were the winners of today’s Pursuit competitions in Nove Mesto, while Nathan Smith had a career-best 5th place finish after hitting all 20 targets.
Domracheva came from behind to win a Women’s competition that started with gorgeous sunny conditions, but quickly deteriorated into a white-out blizzard.
Domracheva and second place Kaisa Makarainen each had two penalties in the first shooting stage, but fought their way back to pass the leader Laura Dahlmeier after she had two penalties in the first standing shooting stage. Dahlmeier recovered to take third place, after local favourite Gabriela Soukalova struggled with two penalties in her final shooting bout in the windy and snowy conditions.
Three Americans were competing, with Susan Dunklee finishing 18th, Annelies Cook 38th, and Hannah Dreissigacker 41st.
In the Men’s competition, Fak started with a 13 second lead, and never relinquished it despite missing his final shot. The miss put Simon Schempp and Martin Fourcade right on his heels for the final loop, but Fak had enough left in the tank to win as Schempp and Fourcade got their skis tangled on a hill, leaving Schempp in second as Fourcade faded and settled for third.
Nathan Smith, starting seventh after a career-best finish in the Sprint, hit all 20 targets and moved up to a fifth-place finish. Leif Nordgren was the top American in 20th place. Brendan Green was 30th, Tim Burke 37th, Sean Doherty 45th, and Macx Davies 54th.
The World Cup circuit now moves to Holmenkollen, which kicks off with Individual competitions on February 11th.