Anton Shipulin Takes Antholz Sprint
|18.01.2013, Antholz / IBU Info JK|
|Matches Sister with Sprint Win|
|Russia's Anton Shipulin made the Antholz sprints a family affair by matching his sister Anastasiya Kuzmina who won yesterday's women's sprint. Like his sister, he shot clean on his way to a 22:45.8 win. Second went to Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway, with one penalty, 12.8 seconds back. Third place Jakov Fak of Slovenia matched Svendsen on the shooting range, but finished 20.4 seconds back.|
Fak finished seven-tenths-of-a-seconds ahead of fourth place Andi Birnbacher of Germany, who shot clean. Evgeny Garanichev of Russia was fifth, with one penalty, 36.6 seconds back. Yellow-Bib wearing Martin Fourcade of France finished sixth, also with one penalty, 38 seconds back.
Just as with the women's sprint yesterday, it was beautiful day for biathlon, with the exact light breeze from left to right on the shooting range. Accordingly, clean or nearly clean shooting was the order of the day.
Shipulin Takes and Holds Lead
Shipulin put down a mark early that everyone tried to duplicate, but found his effort a big challenge. Anastasiya Kuzmina's brother proved that he could be as effective as his sister here in Antholz. He shot clean in prone, but was nine-tenths behind Pinter. That was not problem as Shipulin shot clean again in standing and took the lead. At that point, it was just a matter of how fast he could go on the final lap. Birnbacher shot clean in both stages, was just 6.9 seconds behind Shipulin after standing. He seemed in fine form on the tracks, however, was no match for Shipulin and fell back another 15 second in the final loop.
Svendsen and Fak
Svendsen was 25 seconds off the pace after having to tour the penalty loop once after the prone stage. He came back in standing with a clean stage. Then the strong Norwegian proved again that he is as fast as almost anyone on the tracks. He took back 19 seconds from Birnbacher by the 8.8K point, and then pulled ever further ahead in the final 1.2 mostly downhill section to get as close to Shipulin as anyone would. Only one other person was able to challenge for a top spot: Fak. He cleaned prone, but after dropping the first four standing targets very rapidly; missed the final one. Like Svendsen, he put on a furious last loop to move into the third podium spot, behind Svendsen.
Motivated by Sister
Shipulin commented on his day. "Antholz is my favorite place. I always look forward to coming here. I had some shooting problems earlier this season, but today I decided to concentrate on this race and my shooting. My sister's win was good motivation for me."
Regarding the altitude, he added, "For me this is a small adaptation and not a problem. This is not a tough place for me to compete."
Living in Valley
Unlike Shipulin who is living near the venue, Svendsen is living down in the valley. "I went home for two days after Ruhpolding. Since I did not have so much time to adapt, I am staying down there. I think it was a good plan."
The Norwegian was unaware of Shipulin's fast start and good shooting. "He did not shoot prone until after I started, so I did not know what he was doing. I just tried to focus on myself."
On the Tracks
Fak admitted that the standing penalty was his own fault. "I lost my concentration. I guess my head was already on the tracks, before I shot." Regarding his fast last loop, he added, "I got the information that I was fourth and had to push as hard as I could. I gave it my best and it turned out well."