Khanty Sprint to Kaisa; Second Year in a Row

17.03.2016, Khanty Mansiysk / IBU Info/ MD
First Individual World Cup Podium for Olsbu
Finland's Kaisa Mäkäräinen won today's 7.5K sprint, with one penalty in 20:42.3, taking the sprint title here for the second year in a row. Gabriela Soukalova of Czech Republic shot clean hit to finish second, 3.1 seconds back. Norway's Marte Olsbu matched Soukalova on the shooting range, to finish in a career-best third place, 4.8 seconds back.

Copyright IBU/Evgeniy Tumashov
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Fourth place went to clean-shooting Justine Braisaz of France, 24.2 seconds back. Italy's Dorothea Wierer also shot clean to finish, 27.8 seconds back. Franziska Preuss of Germany was sixth, 32.2 seconds back.

Final Sprint in Cold Weather

80 women lined up today for the final sprint of the season in a typically cold Siberian minus 7C temperature with light winds at the shooting range. Many in the field cleaned prone, including Mäkäräinen, who took the lead at that point. Marie Dorin Habert matched Mäkäräinen's in prone, but left in sixth. As Dorin Habert left the shooting range, the medal-less-in-Oslo Soukalova, with number 38 was starting.

Challenge in Standing

Penalties were more prevalent in standing, with Dahlmeier having an uncharacteristic two while Dorin Habert and teammate Anais Bescond had one each. Dorothea Wierer cleaned, but a recent illness kept her off the podium.

Kaisa Fights for Lead

Mäkäräinen had a single penalty in standing, leaving six seconds behind Olsbu. However a brilliant last loop put Mäkäräinen ahead of the Norwegian at the finish line. This gave the rest of the field and Soukalova a goal; top the Finn's time.

The Czech star left standing with a 3-second lead. Leaving the shooting range, she tangled skis with a Russian athlete heading to the penalty loop, losing precious seconds. She could not hold the slim lead in the final loop and finished second.

She commented, "I just tried to do my best, I had no expectations. I was a bit disappointed about the accident with the Russian athlete, but it is still a good day for me; I gained more World Cup points."


Kaisa commented, "I am a little surprised that it is possible to win the race with one penalty. I like the competitions here in Khanty. It was great to win a medal on the last day in Oslo, I was also quite tired, but I slept until 12 o'clock, I think it was my key to victory today."

First Individual Podium for Olsbu

Olsbu was happy about her first individual podium. She admitted that her WCH Relay Gold motivated her. "It feels very good. I am very motivated after my relay leg in Oslo. My shooting in the World Championships was not good, so I was happy about my clean shooting today."

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