German Denise Herrmann cleaned the shooting in the Pokljuka women 15 km individual and crossed the finish line in 41:33.4 for her first victory in this discipline. Sweden’s Hanna Öberg with a single penalty ended second, 59.2 seconds back, while France’s Anaïs Bescond dropped all the targets, but she was slower on the track, claiming the third place, 1:15.7 back.
31-year-old German, an ex-cross country skier, delivered an outstanding performance to secure her first podium placement: “I am really satisfied with the race. I think it was the perfect race for me. My main goal was to stay focused on every shooting, at every target and nothing more. Today I went a little slower the last 300 metres before the shooting range, so then I was more focused on shooting. It is amazing for me that I hit 20 targets,” commented Herrmann.
Öberg was fast on skis, but one missed shot cost her today’s win. “I am very happy with my race today. I think this was one of my best skiing performances I’ve done actually. Also, I was really focused on the range and although I had one mistake, I am really pleased with shooting especially that I cleaned at the last standing, and skied fast in the last loop,” the highest-ranked Swedish biathlete said after the race.
Bescond was obviously happy with her first top-three result this season. “I am really, really happy to be here again. It is nice to be reminded that I am able to do it and join these two ladies on the podium”, 32-year-old French rejoiced her return to the podium.
Italy’s Lisa Vittozzi ended just off the podium, 1:21.7 back, German Franziska Preuss was fifth, 2:02.8 back and American Clare Egan completed the top-six, 2:10,4 back. All three of them did great at the shooting range, finishing the race without a missed shot.