The Norwegian team of Hilde Fenne, Ann Kristin Flatland, Synnoeve Solemdal and Tora Berger are world champions after winning today’s Women’s Relay competition.
It is Norway’s second relay gold medal of these championships, and Berger’s 5th medal of the championships.
With nine extra rounds and one penalty from Fenne, the Norwegians relied on Berger to pull them to victory in the last leg. Berger crossed the line 7 seconds ahead of the Ukraine’s Olena Pidhrushna and 11.6 seconds ahead of Italy’s Karin Oberhofer. The Ukrainians used 5 extra rounds while the Italians only used 4 en route to their surprise podium finish.
The disappointment continued for the Russians, as their team finished 4th, 29 seconds back.
The US team of Annalies Cook, Sara Studebaker, Susan Dunklee and Hanah Dreissigacker was 10th, 3:04.5 back with ten extra rounds and one penalty. Canadians Rosanna Crawford, Megan Heinicke, Audrey Vaillancourt and Zina Kocher were 11th, 3:15.2 back with thirteen extra rounds and one penalty.
The Men’s Relay is tomorrow at 11:15 Eastern, 8:15 Pacific.
Emil Hegle Svendsen and Olena Pidhrushna eked out victories in the Sprint competitions today at the World Championships.
In the Men’s Sprint (results, IBU article) Svendsen and Martin Fourcade each had one penalty, but Svendsen was 8.1 seconds faster. Third place went to Jakov Fak, who shot clean but finished 11.2 seconds back.
Tim Burke was the top North American finisher in 28th place, 1:36.2 back with two penalties. Lowell Bailey (32nd), JP Le Guellec (36th), Russell Currier (44th), Scott Gow (45th) and Leif Nordgren (53rd) also qualified for the Pursuit. Scott Perras was 66th and Nathan Smith was 73rd.
Pidhrushna’s victory in the Women’s Sprint (results, IBU article) was her first IBU World Cup win and her first World Championships medal. Shooting clean, she finished 6.4 seconds ahead of Tora Berger (one penalty) and 22.8 seconds ahead of fellow Ukrainian Vita Semerenko (no penalties).
Annalies Cook (45th), Susan Dunklee (49th) and Megan Heinicke (54th) qualified for the Pursuit. Sara Studebaker was 65th, Hanah Dreissigacker was 71st, Zina Kocher was 74th, Rosanna Crawford was 77th and Audrey Vaillancourt was 83rd.
The Pursuit competitions are tomorrow with the Men starting at 7:00 Eastern, 4:00 Pacific and the Women starting at 10:15 Eastern, 7:15 Pacific.
Here are the Men’s and Women’s start lists for the World Championship Sprint competitions. The field is huge, with 136 Men and 115 Women competing.
There are 8 North Americans competing in the Men’s Sprint: Tim Burke (bib 7), JP Le Guellec (bib 18), Scott Perras (bib 76), Lowell Bailey (bib 78), Scott Gow (bib 96), Leif Nordgren (bib 104), Russell Currier (bib 113) and Nathan Smith (bib 134).
The 8 North American Women competing are Susan Dunklee (bib 14), Rosanna Crawford (bib 16), Annalies Cook (bib 57), Zina Kocher (bib 58), Megan Heinicke (bib 79), Sara Studebaker (bib 82), Audrey Vaillancourt (bib 101) and Hanah Dreissigacker (bib 112).
Who am I tipping to win these competitions? For the Men, I am looking for Dmitry Malyshko to use his struggles in the Mixed Relay as inspiration for a victory in the Sprint. For the Women, I am counting on Darya Domracheva to get her season back on a roll with a Sprint win.
Who are you putting your money on in the Sprint?