Johannes Thingnes Bø back in the winning shoes

Norway’s Johannes Thingnes Bø cleaned the shooting on a sunny Thursday afternoon to secure the Pokljuka men’s individual in 47:54.3. He claimed his first win after returning to the World Cup after becoming a father. Frenchmen Martin Fourcade and Fabien Claude dropped all the targets as well and finished second and third, 11.4 and 25.6 seconds back, respectively.

Norwegian delivered a solid performance and crossed the finish line as the fastest and was happy with the outcome: “Courses are changing all the time and no matter the course, you have to do the same biathlon. I had to respect my preparations, I did not know how my body will react, so I started slower than usual. Also, I spent some more time at the shooting range, but I am happy with my choices. Seeing Martin winning four times, it is gotten much harder to win the overall cup, so my main goal now is the World Championship. I have to do my thing and Martin has to do a big fall, but I think he will not do it.”

Fourcade did his best to increase the lead in the overall, but in the end, he was still satisfied with the result: “I am really satisfied with my performance. I knew it would be a tight fight with Thinges. We made almost the same competition here in skiing and shooting, and I think he is a real champion. He won because he was more aggressive at the shooting range. Biathlon is the exact sport where you can shoot 20, ski as fast as someone else, and still end as second. You also need to shoot fast and Johannes is good in that.”

Fourcad’s compatriot Claude was happy with reaching his first podium in the World Cup. “It is a great honour to share the podium with such amazing athletes. It is also the first time I cleaned the shooting, I am still not sure how I succeeded,” commented the middle one of the Claude biathlete brothers.

Germany’s Philipp Nawrath finished fourth, 36.7 back, Norway’s Johannes Dale was fifth, 1:02.4 back while Johannes Thingnes older brother Tarjei claimed the sixth place, 1:26.4 back. Slovenia’s Jakov Fak was 12th with one missed shot in the last shooting. “I am angry because I missed the last shoot. I did not have luck because the bullet did not go to the target as it should, so I had to remove it and extra load the rifle. I have been impatient, so I shoot fast since I have been already back on the course with my thoughts, and unfortunately I missed. My performance was not the best, this last shoot made huge damage. This season, somehow, I cannot do better, I did my best, but it was not enough for a better result,” the home matador explained after the race.