Russians Victorious in Men’s Pursuits
|29.01.2012, Osrblie / IBU Info TO|
|European Champions Volkov and Loginov|
|Russia celebrated victory in both the men’s and junior men’s 12.5K pursuit competitions this morning at the IBU Open European Championships in Osrblie, Slovakia. In the men’s competition, Alexey Volkov finished ahead of Serhiy Semenov of Ukraine and Germany’s Daniel Böhm in the men’s competition. All three had one penalty. Alexandr Loginov topped two Norwegians Vetle Sjastad Christiansen and Johannes Thingnes Boe for the junior men’s title, with all three racking up two penalties each.|
Alexey Volkov won his second title of these championships after winning the sprint yesterday. He had a penalty in the first prone stage, dropping to second behind Semenov, but cleaned the first standing stage, as Semenov had a penalty and fell back. In the final standing stage, Volkov shot deliberately as he dropped all five targets and cruised safely across the finish line in 31:48, 16.2 seconds ahead of Semenov. He commented, “The victory today was not as easy as yesterday’s, especially after the miss during the first shooting.”
Heard the Misses
Behind Volkov, the last standing stage brought some excitement for the 3000 spectators in the stadium. Böhm, who had climbed up from 15th place at the start by shooting perfectly in the first three stages, was 7 seconds ahead of Artem Pryma and 19 seconds ahead of Semenov. Pryma shot slowly but missed once while Böhm missed his last shot. This gave Semenov had the chance to climb back into podium contention. He explained, “I saw that Alexey hit all five and then I only heard, but did not see that Daniel or Artem miss. Then I knew that I only had to shoot zero; I am happy that it worked. The last lap was very hard but I wanted to get away during the first two climbs because I am not so good on the flat parts.”
Böhm left the penalty loop only one second behind the Ukrainian but could not keep up. He commented, “I was very tired on the last lap and could only watch the gap between us get bigger. I was also very tired at the last shooting; my shooting was not as secure as the first three. I am actually happy I missed only one.” At the finish, Böhm was 2.3 seconds behind Semenov.
Fourth place went to Artem Pryma of Ukraine ahead of Andrejs Rastorgujevs of Latvia and Krasimir Anev of Bulgaria.
The fight for the medals stayed in the junior men’s pursuit was exciting all the way to the finish line. After the first standing stage a group of four athletes had formed, consisting of the Russians Loginov and Maxim Tsvetkov and the two Norwegians Christiansen and Boe, all of whom were still in medal contention. At the last standing stage, Loginov, 19 seconds ahead of his competitors at that point, had a single penalty. Tsvetkov, who was right ahead of Boe, had two, while Boe had one. Christiansen, 11 seconds behind the others before the last shooting stage, cleaned and went out in second place, ten seconds behind Loginov and 10 seconds ahead of Boe.
Sprint to the Finish Line
Loginov extended his lead to 23.5 seconds by the finish. Behind him, a fight for the medals was going one. Although Christiansen had explained after the sprint competition that Boe was usually the better athlete, he kept up on the last loop and commented at the finish, “I had trouble on the last loop and thought this is not the speed for me. But somehow I stayed with Johannes and beat him in the sprint. But it was very, very close.” Only two-tenths of a second separated the teammates at the finish.
Tsvetkov finished fourth ahead with Simon Desthieux of France and Davit Komatz of Austria in fifth and sixth.