Emil Hegle Svendsen and Andrea Henkel earned their second victories in a row by following up on their Sprint wins, albeit in very different fashions. While Henkel had a comfortable lead during her final lap, Svendsen was locked in a thrilling battle with Martin Fourcade that came down to a photo finish.
Svendsen and Fourcade were in a tight battle most of the competition, with Svendsen gaining an advantage when he shot clean in the first standing stage while Fourcade picked up one penalty. However, the gap was erased in the second standing stage when it was Svendsen with one penalty and Fourcade shooting clean. Both athletes went on to the final loop together and only a stretch finish at the line gave the victory to Svendsen. Both athletes finished in a time of 35:46, with one penalty each. Third place went to Tarjei Boe, 1:17.5 back with three penalties.
Lowell Bailey was the top North American with a 25th place finish (3:23.7 back, two penalties), despite losing about 40 seconds on the shooting range when he only brought two magazines of ammunition with him instead of four. Despite his waving for assistance from his coach, it took a while for the ammunition to be passed to him, and his mistake cost him several places.
Other North American finishers were Jay Hakkinen (34th place, 4:35.5 back, three penalties), Nathan Smith (38th place, 4:49.2 back, four penalties), Brendan Green (39th place, 4:51.1. back, three penalties), Leif Nordgren (40th place, 5:07.8 back, five penalties), JP Le Guellec (44th place, 5:45.8 back, seven penalties), Scott Perras (48th place, 6:25.6 back, ten penalties) and Tim Burke (49th place, 6:34.2 back, eight penalties).
Carl Johan Bergman and Tomasz Sikora also had an excellent competition, with Bergman shooting clean and finishing 5th after starting 26th, and Sikora with one penalty moving up to a 13th place finish after starting 42nd.
In the Women’s 10 km Pursuit, Henkel led throughout the whole competition with only one penalty in the first standing stage, finishing in a time of 31:09.1. Magdalena Neuner finished second despite two penalties in the first prone standing stage, 24.8 seconds back with three penalties in total. Third place went to Marie Dorin who shot clean and was 53.6 seconds back.
Sara Studebaker was the fastest North American competitor, finishing in 27th place (4:30.6 back, three penalties). Laura Spector was 42nd (7:34.5 back, five penalties) and Haley Johnson was 43rd (8:01.7 back, eight penalties). It was a tough day for the Canadian women as they were all lapped and were eliminated from the competition.
It was a much better day for Kathrin Hitzer, who managed a sixth place finish with bib 20 by picking up only one penalty.
IBU World Cup #8 concludes tomorrow with the Mass Start competitions, with the Men (start list) starting at 10:00 Eastern, 7:00 Pacific and the Women (start list) at 12:15 Eastern, 9:15 Pacific. Sara Studebaker is the only North American qualified for the Mass Start, with bib number 30.