April 17, 2024

Norwegian domination partly due to the wax team?

The Norwegians walked all over the competition grabbing the four top finishing positions. In somewhat warm conditions with wet snow it seems likely that the Norwegian wax team had come up with something ensuring better glide for their athletes than most other teams.

The five fastest course times of the day belonged Norwegian biathletes and Fjell Andersen who in the past has not been known for blistering fast skiing put down the 16th fastest course time of the day.

The sensational Sturla Holm Laegreid won his second race of the season. The 23 year old shocked many by winning a sprint. His exceptional accurate shooting means that he will often be a contender for the 20 km Individual races, but many did not think him fast enough on his skis to be one of the main contenders for a sprint race. Our model saw it differently and gave him about a five percent chance of winning.

Holm Laegreid shot fast and accurate, hitting all ten targets with the fourth fastest range time of the day and won some eight seconds ahead of Johannes Dale who also cleared all ten targets. Johannes Thingnes Boe was third some 20 seconds behind the winner after having missed two in the prone shooting. Holm Laegreid became the first biathlete to win twice during the 2020-21 season.

Johannes Dale produced the second fastest course time of the day, only beaten by Johannes Thingnes Boe, but as Holm Laegreid in total spent some 18 seconds less on the shooting range, Dale finished second.

The leader in the overall world cup, Johannes Thingnes Boe, skied very fast. He skied almost 25 seconds faster than the winner and more than 50 seconds faster than the fastest non-Norwegian, Quentin Fillon Maillet. Thingnes Boe’s two misses in the prone shooting left him with too much to make up on the others, but it is very likely he would have won if he had hit nine of ten.

Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen missed a shot in the prone shooting, but hit all in the standing. He was in seventh place when leaving the range the final time, but managed to ski his way into fourth at the finish.

Sebastian Samuelsson hit ten of ten, but as he was unable to keep up with the skiing speed of the Norwegians he finished fifth.

Dmytro Pidruchnyi made huge progress to grab sixth with perfect shooting.

Quetin Fillon Maillet finished in seventh place after missing one of his prone shots.

Emilien Jacquelin hit his nine first targets and would likely have finished in fourth place had he been able to get the final target down. As he was unable to do so, he was eighth at the finish.

Martin Ponsiluoma was one of the very fastest skiers on the circuit during the first races of the season. He was fast again, producing the eleventh fastest course time of the day, even if he was substantially slower than in the early parts of the season. His range time was very impressive, fourth fastest of the day, and as he hit 9 of his ten targets he finished in ninth place.

Julian Eberhard thrilled the home crowd getting the final top ten slot after having missed one of his standing shots.

Tarjei Boe was in third place entering the range for the final shooting, but dropped to 14th after having missed his last two shots of the day.

Anton Dudchenko impressed hitting all his target and finishing in 20th.

The German team disappointed with no athletes in the top 20 and four of their six starters failing to earn world cup points. Arnd Peiffer was the best German in 22nd place hitting nine of ten targets after having not competed the week before.

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.

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