Darya Domracheva – queen of mass start. Without any doubts!

Belarusian biathlete wins mass start at 4th stage of World Cup, in German Oberhof

Belarusian biathlete wins mass start at 4th stage of World Cup, in German Oberhof. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko congratulates Darya Domracheva on her victory.
Belarusian biathlete wins mass start at 4th stage of World Cup, in German Oberhof. President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko congratulates Darya Domracheva on her victory.

Darya Domracheva’s victorious finish
Darya Domracheva’s victorious finish

Domracheva concluded the race in 42 minutes and 36.6 seconds, with four misses at the shooting range. Despite her less than perfect marksmanship, this did not prevent her from surpassing her rivals, giving her a third victory in individual World Cup races this season (2014/15). She recently won the World Cup stage in Swedish Östersund, and the pursuit race in Slovenian Pokljuka.

Another Belarusian, Nadezhda Skardino, finished 24th in the women’s mass start in Oberhof. Ms. Domracheva’s main rival was all-round standings leader, Finland’s Kaisa Mäkäräinen. The pair led the race early on, reaching the first shooting range at almost the same time; however, both enjoyed two misses, sending them into the top-30. Nadezhda Skardino’s prone marksmanship was without error, allowing her to arrive at the second range in the lead, but she missed twice, knocking her out of the running.

Darya Domracheva’s second Oberhof medal
Darya Domracheva’s second Oberhof medal

Domracheva’s second shooting range attempt saw just one miss and, having overcome her penal lap, she caught the group leaders jostling for supremacy. The triple Olympic champion then managed her prone marksmanship without fault, sending her into the top-three, alongside Slovak Jana Gereková and Czech Veronika Vítková. She soon overtook them on the snow, but her miss at the final range allowed Ms. Gereková to lead initially in the last lap. Nevertheless, even those who missed targets at the fourth range managed to catch her and Ms. Domracheva was leading by the time the finish line was within 2km.

In all-round World Cup standings, Darya Domracheva has moved from 4th to 2nd place in mass start (386 points) behind Kaisa Mäkäräinen (486) — who finished fourth in the race (+25.9 seconds; 4 misses). Ukrainian Valentina Semerenko (366 points) is ranked third.

Meanwhile, four days earlier, the national team of Belarus, presented by Nadezhda Skardino, Anastasia Duborezova, Nadezhda Pisareva and Darya Domracheva, finished third in the relay race. It was Darya Domracheva who managed to bring our squad to prize winners due to her wonderful speed on the ski track and good shooting.

By Igor Leshin
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