May 9, 2021

Johannes Thingnes Boe back to winning ways

After finishing second to compatriot Sturla Holm Laegreid in the 20 km, Johannes Thingnes Boe won this sprint by a large margin. He could likely have skied two penalty loops and still been able to just about squeeze in ahead of his competitors.

He was the clear favourite according to our Biathlon model coming into the race, with about a 29% chance of winning.

Having started the season well, with one victory and one second place, our model’s season simulation now gives Thingnes Boe about a 90 percent chance of winning the overall world cup.

Even if this was a dominant performance by Thingnes Boe, he was borderline lucky at the prone shooting, as his second shot looks to have been as much of a miss as a hit.

A slow-motion video of his prone and standing shooting with the targets visible is available below.

Just as in Saturday’s 20 km, Thingnes Boe had the fastest skiing time and when he hits all the targets, he is just incredibly hard to beat.

The Swedish team continued their brilliant start to the season, with both Sebastian Samuelsson and Martin Ponsiluoma making it to the podium.

Samuelsson started very fast and led at the first split. He missed a target in the prone shooting, but hit all in the standing.

His standing shooting was very good. It looks like his shots, two through four, would also have been hits even if he was shooting at the much smaller prone target.

Your can find a slow-motion video of Samulesson’s standing shooting underneath.

Our model gave Samulsson about a seven percent chance to finish among the top three.

Coming in to the season, the Swedish coaching team have been full of praise for the skiing prowess of Martin Ponsiluoma. He showed that they were right with a very fast skiing time in the 20 km on Saturday, however he missed too many shots in that race, to walk away with a good result.

This time Ponsiluoma shot better, he hit all at the last shooting, but missed one at the first. A slow-motion video of his standing shooting, with the targets visible are available below.

Most found Ponsiluoma grabbing a podium spot surprising, the biathlon model gave him about a seven percent chance of doing that, so even if it was surprising it was not very surprising.

The press conference with the three athletes who made the podium is available below.

The Swedes impressed, not only did they get two on the podium, but they had three of the eleven fastest skiing times. Samuelsson fourth fastest, Ponsiluoma seventh fastest and Nelin eleventh fastest.

The Norwegians were also impressive. Johannes Thingnes Boe won, and Norway had all of their six starters among the top 24 and the three fastest skiing times. The Boe brothers was the fastest skiers, followed by Johannes Dale.

Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen finished fourth, four seconds behind Martin Ponsiluoma and Jakov Fak was fifth, just nine seconds behind second place.

Erik Lesser was challenging for another podium place, but missed his very last shot and finished ninth. Arnd Peiffer missed one, but as he skied reasonably fast, ninth fastest skiing time, grabbed seventh place.

Quentin Fillon Maillet hit all his targets and shot a couple of seconds faster than the Johannes Thingnes Boe, but was still beaten by more than a minute into sixth place. Unless Fillon Maillet can pick up his skiing speed, he will struggle to mount any sort of challenge in the overall world cup, but even so our model sees him as the second favourite with about a seven percent chance. This is likely caused by the skiing speed he showed last year and the fact that there has only been two races so far this season.

As usual the IBU have uploaded some highlight to their youtube account.

Mathis Brorstad

Mathis Brorstad

Mathis Brorstad is a Norwegian freelance writer. He is mainly covering Athletics, Biathlon and other Winter Sports. In the past he has done work on odds and probabilities.

View all posts by Mathis Brorstad →

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