Three Competitions; Course Tour Video
|15.03.2012, Khanty Mansiysk / IBU Info. Dept. JK|
|Titles on the Line; Crystal Globes|
|By Sunday evening, all of the drama will be over after the conclusion of the sprint/pursuit/mass start program here in Khanty Mansiysk. The World Cup Total Score titlists and those for the individual disciplines will all have nice crystal globes to carry, as they board the plane back to Munich on Monday.
Although there are 23 teams that include 88 men and 64 women competing in this World Cup Final, only a few are really in the hunt for the end-of–season awards. Everyone else here is hoping for one more good performance that might propel them onto the podium, maybe just a few more World Cup points to move into the top 25 or just a good solid performance that will provide some momentum for next season.
Helena Ekholm and Simon Fourcade
At this stage, only the winners of the individual competitions, Sweden’s Helena Ekholm and France’s Simon Fourcade have been decided, as well as the relay titlists; France in the men’s and women’s, with Russia taking the mixed relay. Many of the other titles are close to decided, but will not become official until the final results are posted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The biggest prizes of all, for the World Cup Total Score have Magdalena Neuner and Martin Fourcade in the driver’s seat. Neuner leads Belarusian Darya Domracheva, 1093 to 1061 points. Fourcade leads Norway’s Emil Hegle Svendsen, 970 to 904 points.
In the sprint, Neuner has an overwhelming 511 to 423 point lead over Domracheva, effectively giving the retiring German star one of the small globes. Fourcade again leads Svendsen 363 to 338 points.
The pursuit is the tightest of the discipline battles in the women’s category. Domracheva is on top with 332, while Neuner is second at 329 and Norway’s Tora Berger has 321 points. Fourcade again leads Svendsen 324 to 300 points in the battle for the men’s globe.
Domracheva and Berger
Again, in the mass start, there is no clear winner for the women. Domracheva and Berger are separated by a mere three points, 190 to 187 points. Andi Birnbacher is the spoiler in the Fourcade/Svendsen tussle as he leads in the standings, 217 to Fourcade’s 176 points, with Svendsen trailing in third at 158.
Although the season started over three months ago, and 23 of the season total 26 competitions have been completed, plenty of drama remains for the next three days. Regardless of who stands on the podium here on Sunday evening, clutching crystal, one thing is guaranteed, the 2011-12 E.ON IBU World Cup Biathlon season will be over.