Pokljuka Sprint Win for Katharina Innerhofer

06.03.2014, Pokljuka / IBU Info/ JK
First Victory of Career; Surprises Abound
Austria's Katharina Innerhofer claimed her first World Cup victory and first podium of her career in this afternoon's women's sprint at Pokljuka. The 23-year-old shot clean while covering the 7.5k course in 21:19.1. Russia's Daria Virolaynen also had the best result of her career shooting clean to finish second, 9.2 seconds back. Nadezhda Skardino of Belarus matched her rivals on the shooting range but finished third, 12.1 seconds back.

Copyright IBU/ Christian Manzoni
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Finland's Kaisa Mäkäräinen, with two penalties finished fourth, 27 seconds back, followed by Italy's Dorothea Wierer in fifth, with one penalty, 30.8 seconds back. Norway's Tora Berger finished sixth, with two penalties, 36.2 seconds back.

Challenging Conditions

Windy conditions made the shooting very challenging for the women, especially in the standing stage, with many of the favorites struggling. Virolaynen thought luck had something to do with her perfect shooting day. She commented, "Maybe I was just lucky today, obviously the stars helped me: I didn't have any wind at all while standing shooting."

Austrian Sensation

Innerhofer was the biggest surprise of the day, with her first win at this level. It was totally unexpected. "I knew what I am basically able to do. I felt very goo at the shooting range. Yes I have made my race. That I would be on top of the podium; I guess nobody has expected this. I did not think that! I am simply overjoyed."

Important for Austrian Women

Austria's men team is usually the one that has great results, not the women. Today Innerhofer proved that the women's team in Austria is capable of the big results, too. "I won today and it's great for the women's biathlon in Austria, because we train as hard as the men. I hope we will continue like this."

New Face

Russia's Virolaynen was a new face on today's podium. The daughter of 1992 Olympic Sprint Anfissa Reztsova had her World Cup podium after finishing third in the OECH pursuit in Nove Mesto na Morave earlier this year. "The most important international competitions were for me at the Universiade, and of course the OECH. I am happy about my success today and hope my good results to continue."


Skardino today repeated her third place from last season at Pokljuka. "I like Pokljuka. I usually feel very good here. I don't know what exactly the reason of it is, but I usually never have any "come-downs" here, hopefully it will be also the case this time."

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