Neuner Sprints to Number 32

11.02.2012, Kontiolahti / IBU Info JK
Dominating Performance
Germany’s Magdalena Neuner claimed her 32nd World Cup victory and her eighth of this season as she won the women’s 7.5K sprint, with one penalty in 23:07.4. Second went to Finland’s Kaisa Mäkäräinen, with one penalty, 12.3 seconds back. Darya Domracheva of Belarus finished third, with two penalties, 17 seconds back.

Copyright IBU/Rene Miko
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Fourth went to Russia’s Olga Zaitseva, who shot clean, 30.1 seconds back. Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia had two penalties while finishing fifth, 30.9 seconds back, with Germany’s Miriam Gössner sixth, with clean shooting, 33 seconds back.

Zaitseva and Mäkäräinen

The women had similar conditions today to what the men dealt with; cold and some wind on the shooting range. Zaitseva set the bar high with a solid clean shooting and challenged the others to catch her. Mäkäräinen had a single prone penalty, but stormed back with a fast clean standing stage, to leave her less than 10 seconds behind Zaitseva. By the 6.3K split the speedy Mäkäräinen had pulled back all 10 seconds and then some, taking a 2.3 second lead. She then turned that into an eventual 17.8 second gap by the finish.

Neuner and Domracheva

Meanwhile, Domracheva had two prone penalties but shot clean in standing, setting up what has become her usual amazing push in the final loop. Neuner had a single prone penalty, but like the Belarusian shot clean in standing. At that point, Neuner took control with a 2.3 second lead on the field. Both Neuner and Domracheva flew around the final 2.5K, but again Neuner with one less penalty came out on top. Domracheva still managed to pass Zaitseva to slip into third position. Late starter Gössner had a strong performance in yesterday’s mixed relay and came back with another today. The fast skier, who sometimes struggles at the shooting range, had no trouble today in dropping all 10 targets with ease to finish with her season best sixth place.

Did Nothing

Neuner was a bit shocked to win today. “It was very surprising; I have been sick all week. This was my first time at the shooting range in one week…I did nothing this week, just staying in bed, eating and watching television, no running or shooting... I knew after I missed the one shot in prone that the standing had to be a zero.”

90% Fitness

However, the hard effort today did fatigue her a bit today. “I am a bit tired… I am happy to be in such good shape. My fitness is probably only at 90% now after the illness, but I have two weeks to train before Ruhpolding.”

Cooking and Cleaning

Mäkäräinen said competing at home does have its drawbacks. “It was probably more important to the fans for me to do well here; we get the same points whether the race is here or somewhere else…It is nice to sleep in my own bed, but it is not like being in a hotel, because now I have to do the cooking and cleaning.”

Likes Kontiolahti

Domracheva admitted that Kontiolahti is close to her heart. “I had my first junior championship here and my first World Cup wins.”

Regarding her shooting, she added, “Magdalena is shooting very well now; maybe she will give me some advice! I still think I have time to improve my shooting in the next couple of weeks.”


Sunday’s program features pursuits for both men and women, starting at 12:15 and 13:00 CET, respectively.