Gold and bronze from Pokljuka biathlon
Following her triple Olympic gold in Sochi, biathlete Darya Domracheva has her sights set on the Big Crystal Globe. Despite her huge success, she had been yet to claim a medal at the World Cup stage in Pokljuka.
By Yegor Glebov
In the face of high winds in Slovenia, the gales at Laura Sports Complex seemed like a light breeze, which perhaps explained Darya’s poor marksmanship in the sprint and 28th place. Sochi bronze medallist Nadezhda Skardino came third, without a single miss across two shooting ranges, while Lyudmila Kalinchik, who also covered the sprint without a miss, occupied 8th place.
Despite Darya Domracheva’s breathtaking ‘climb’ in the pursuit, moving from her initial 28th position to 4th at the finishing gate, her strategic struggle for the Big Crystal Globe seemed lost, since both Kaisa Mдkдrдinen and Tora Berger were ahead, as in the sprint. Berger’s advantage amounted to four-dozen points before the mass start but, of course, the race is Darya’s forte, and led to her 18th biathlete gold. As in Sochi, she took the lead early on, shooting confidently and skiing fast across the 12.5km distance. Moreover, it was the first time Domracheva had managed to leave behind her Big Crystal Globe rivals, enabling her to reduce the gap in the overall standings: currently led by Kaisa Mдkдrдinen, followed by Tora Berger.
Nadezhda Skardino helped her teammate by endeavouring to keep a furious Berger behind her in the final lap, winning back two precious World Cup points for Darya from the Norwegian athlete. Besides Domracheva and Skardino, Lyudmila Kalinchik was also ranked among the top ten, making the mass start a true gift for March 8th Women’s Day.