Ending season on victorious note

Darya Domracheva wins Small Crystal Globe in mass start of biathlon season

By Yuri Karpenko

The Belarusian athlete has won the Biathlon World Cup mass start in Norwegian Holmenkollen, covering the 12.5km track in just 36 minutes and 13 seconds, with four shooting intervals, missing three targets. Anna Bogaliy-Titovets has claimed silver, with bronze going to Olga Zaitseva, both from Russia. Darya entered the second circle from second position, behind Bogaliy-Titovets by more than eight seconds, but eventually closed the gap to create an impressive lead on her opponents. Belarusian Nadezhda Skardino finished 20th among 30 participants.

Her win gives Domracheva 236 points towards the Small Crystal Globe, putting her ahead of Magdalena Neuner of Germany (228 points) and Tora Berger of Norway (206). Nadezhda Skardino (59 points) is 28th so far, while Lyudmila Kalinchik is 33rd (35 points) among 50 sportswomen.

To date, the Small Crystal Globe has twice been claimed by Belarus’ triple world champion Svetlana Paramygina (in 1993 and 1994) and by the Belarusian men’s relay team (in 2003). In 1994, the Big Crystal Globe was won by Paramygina, who topped the World Cup standings at the end of the season.

The current victory in the mass start is Domracheva’s first of the season, although the 24 year old boasts a total of three gold medals, six silver and ten bronze. She claimed three medals at the World Cup final stage, in Holmenkollen. In the sprint in Austrian Hochfilzen, in the pursuit in Norwegian Holmenkollen, and in the mass start at the Biathlon World Championship, in Khanty-Mansiysk, she claimed silver. Domracheva has also won bronze six times: in the sprint in Swedish Ostersund and Norwegian Holmenkollen, in the mass start in Italian Antholz-Anterselva and in American Fort Kent, and in the pursuit in Austrian Hochfilzen and in American Presque Isle.

Kaisa Makarainen of Finland has won the Big Crystal Globe of this season, topping the women’s standings with 1,005 points. As last year, Domracheva is placed sixth.

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