The festival traditionally gathers the best sportsmen from the previous season, attending by an audience of several dozen thousand. Each participating athlete has a string of successes to their name, including Belarusian Darya Domracheva, who claimed a medal at the Vancouver Olympics and won medals in the World Cup rounds. She made her debut amongst star company, which she admits gave her some nerves; she failed to perform as well as fans would have hoped. Nevertheless, her performance was certainly memorable; known for her numerous amusing mistakes, this time, she forgot to shoot away the last target.
“This race was more of a show for me than a competition,” Darya said on crossing the finish line. “I merely arrived… and ran. The atmosphere here is not competitive. It was interesting for me to take part and see what would happen. There’s no need to draw any serious conclusions; some things were fine and others were not; it’s been a lesson to me.”
By the time Darya reached the second shooting line, she had no chance of winning; accordingly, her ‘trick’ was of little consequence. The Belarusian will show her major results in winter; as she notes, her training is in full swing. Darya plans not merely to participate in the forthcoming events but to win.