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Italy and Norway take honors in IBU Cup Pokljuka 2023

The first day of IBU Cup competition ended with two short individual races in Pokljuka on Friday.

In the men’s competition, the Norwegian male athletes were unstoppable, taking the top three places in the 15 km race. The 26-year-old Norwegian Fjellheim Sindre Jorde missed one shot on the shooting range and crossed the finish line 39 and a half seconds ahead of his compatriot Mats Oeverby.

After the official award ceremony, the winner, with tears in his eyes, relived the biggest success of his career: “I’m sorry, I just need a moment (he continues the interview after an emotional cry). I’m very happy, it was a great competition. It’s already hard to line up in a team in Norway and to do a great performance in the shooting.”

Norwegian Vebjoern Soerum completed a perfect Scandinavian day at the Rudno Polje with third place.

Matic Repnik was the best of the Slovenian representative, finishing 25th with one missed shot.

In the women’s competition, Italy’s Hannah Auchentaller dominated the 12.5 km course, being unmistakable in the shooting range and 27 seconds faster than Germany’s Hanna Kebinger. The Italian took her first IBU Cup victory.

The winner of the women’s competition enjoyed her first victory with a smile on her face: “I’m very happy, I didn’t expect to win. I felt that my legs were heavy already on Thursday and it wasn’t better before the race either. That’s why I’m even more happy that I hit all the shots and performed as well as I did.”

Third place went to Paula Botet from France. The Slovenian fans welcomed Klara Vindišar as the best of the home women competitors, who finished 41st with three missed shots.