Shooting Star Darya Domracheva
|24.03.2010, Khanty Mansiysk / Jerrry Kokesh|
|Sprint Course Video Preview|
|By the end of a trying Olympic season, all of the athletes on the World Cup circuit are tired. Some are simply hanging on, trying to make it through the final competitions this week. Others like Darya Domracheva of Belarus and Martin Fourcade of France are reaching new levels of success as the season winds down.
Domracheva has actually been one of the most consistent women on the World Cup circuit since the Pokljuka World Cup back in December, when she finished fourth in the Sprint and sixth in the Pursuit. Including those competitions, she has finished in the top ten thirteen times in fifteen competitions. She won a Bronze medal in the Olympic 15K Individual, won the Sprint and Pursuit two weeks ago in Kontiolahti and finished second in the same two competitions last week in Oslo.
The latter part of this season has been an amazingly successful for this 23-year old Belarusian, whose first brush with fame came when she won the Sprint and Pursuit at the 2005 IBU Youth and Junior World Championships in Kontiolahti. Her Sprint victory, with two penalties, by 10.8 seconds over clean-shooting Marion Blondeau of France was typical of the younger Domracheva. She commented on those victories, “It was my dream since childhood to win a World Championship. In Kontiolahti I thought I could do it. I had enough power and was very strong girl with good speed. I finished 40th in the first competition, the Individual, with eleven penalties! In standing, the sights fell off of my rifle. I did not know what to do. Then, the next day, I told myself that it was a rifle problem and not me. So I convinced myself that I could still win and I did.”
She laughed when recalling her first Youth competitions in Khanty Mansiysk as a 13 year old. “My shooting was very very bad! That first competition was a Sprint and I did seven penalty laps. In some Sprints after that, I think I had nine or even ten.” Of course, there was a good reason that the novice Domracheva was an erratic shot. “My city had just started a biathlon school and we did not shoot very often, maybe one day and then not again for a month; there were always problems with rifles and ammunition in those first days.”
Obviously, those days are gone for the now steady-shooting Domracheva. In Kontiolahti, she shot 40 rounds in the Sprint, Pursuit, and Mixed Relay. She missed just one of them, in her Pursuit victory.
Inside Your Head
Her climb from penalty loop expert to skilled shooter has not been easy. She explained, “It has been just work, work, and more work; everyday, with my mind as well as my body. In biathlon, it is very important to work inside your head, your psyche.”
She generously gives the credit to the Belarusian shooting coach. “Klaus Siebert is one of the best specialists in the world in biathlon shooting. He is confident in his work and we feel the confidence that he gives us. When things do not go well, he tells me to look forward. So on the next start, I forget about what happened and think about the next race.”
Siebert said her shooting success has not come easily. “It has taken a lot of hard work to become as good as she is now. She does have some talent in shooting; some people can shoot for years and never become that good. Darya has the ability to learn from her mistakes; every time she has a small setback, she comes back stronger.”
As the season winds down this week, Darya Domracheva is looking forward to the future and more success. “I hope to win more medals and competitions. I will continue to try to do my best to reach bigger goals.”
In Next Biathlonworld Magazine
A more extensive profile of Darya Domracheva will appear in the next issue of Biathlonworld magazine coming out later this spring.
Khanty Mansiysk Course Tour Video
IBU International Referee for Course Tomaz Fusko skied around redesigned Sprint course in Khanty Mansiysk today. The following video, in two parts, without commentary gives the viewer what the athletes will see during the upcoming Sprint competitions here.
Under The Lights
The final Women’s 7.5K Sprint of the season will be conducted under the lights tomorrow, starting at 18:15 local time (14:15 CET). The final Men’s 10K Sprint follows on Friday with the same start times. The final Mass Start competitions of the season are set for Saturday afternoon, with the Women’s 12.5K at 16:15 local time and the Men’s 15K following at 18:15. The World Championship Mixed Relay closes the season at 17:15 local time on Sunday.