Berger Wins Penalty-Filled Pursuit
|02.03.2013, Oslo / IBU Info JK|
|Four Penalties, But Another Win|
|Tora Berger of Norway won for the second straight day, claiming the women’s 10K pursuit title in 32:12.2, with four penalties. Second went to France’s Marie Dorin Habert, with two penalties, 31.2 seconds back. Slovakia’s Anastasiya Kuzmina was third, with four penalties, 45.1 seconds back.
Poland’s Krystyna Palka was fourth, with two penalties, 1:32.3 back. After nine penalty loops, Belarusian Darya Domracheva finished fifth, 2:14.5 back, while Norway’s Tiril Eckhoff with four penalties finished sixth, 2:39.1 back.
48 Penalties Total for Top 10
On another clear day, the wind played havoc on the shooting range, with gusts and direction changes by the minute. The wind was so bad that the top 10 women had a combined 48 penalties.
Berger led from the start, with a clean first prone, while Domracheva missed a shot. She and clean shooting Dorin Habert went out together. In the second stage, Berger had a single penalty, while Dorin Habert cleaned as did Kuzmina. Domracheva missed two shots and fell back to fourth position. The positions remained the same as they came to the first standing stage. Berger uncharacteristically had two penalties, while Dorin Habert had one and took the lead. Kuzmina had two penalties, as did Domracheva: they headed for the final standing stage, 33 and 43 seconds back. Palka with just a single penalty in three stages was right next to the Belarusian.
Fast Final Stage
By the time the top women reached the final standing stage, Berger had regained the lead with Dorin Habert just behind her. Domracheva and Kuzmina followed but were over 40 seconds behind. Berger and Dorin Habert each had a penalty, but Berger shot faster and was in the lead. Kuzmina cleaned as Domracheva missed four times and faded out of contention, setting the podium. Palka moved up into fourth position as they headed to the finish, as Domracheva with nine penalties was still in fifth position.
Not Under Control
Berger, who won for the 10th time this season, commented on shooting in the strong winds. "It was not so easy to shoot; the first stage was not so bad but the last two were very difficult. On the last stage, I think I was too fast. I felt like I was under control but I was not and I missed that one shot."
Dorin Habert, fourth in yesterday's sprint equaled her personal best with second place today. She said, "I am a very, very... lucky woman and I am very happy today. It is nice to be up here because I am not a star and not on the podium very often."
Kuzmina said the skiing was very hard. "It was hard work for everyone. I am tall and the wind was pushing at me. I was trying to stay in a tuck to get through the wind...some parts of the track were very icy, because of the wind and some places were very soft."