‘I was surprised to find myself leading during the last lap’

Darya Domracheva wins pursuit race at Biathlon World Cup event in Czech Nove Mesto

Darya Domracheva wins pursuit race at Biathlon World Cup event in Czech Nove Mesto. The leader of the Belarusian team started from fourth position yet managed to outstrip all her rivals.

Darya Domracheva’s victorious finish in pursuit race

Triple Olympic champion Darya missed twice at the first shooting range, leaving her among the second dozen, but steadily climbed forward to sixth place after clearing the second range. A blizzard of snow reduced visibility, with many of the athletes failing to hit their targets, including Domracheva, but her rivals’ errors were enough to propel her into first position.

In the final lap, Darya sped ahead of her main rival, World Cup leader Kaisa Makarainen of Finland, by 6.8 seconds (Kaisa missed four targets). Third place went to sprint event winner Laura Dahlmeier, of Germany.

Weather fails to deter Darya from coming first again

Young Belarusian Irina Krivko also did well, rising to 10th place from 14th. Nadezhda Skardino fell from 16th to 20th place. Anastasia Duborezova jumped to 30th place (from 57th) but was later disqualified. After having been 22nd in the sprint, Nadezhda Pisareva moved to 35th place in the pursuit.

After the race, Darya Domracheva commented, “The difference between races is tremendous. During the sprint, the track was perfectly hard but became much softer during the last lap, due to continuous snowfall. It was impossible to push off normally and slide, making the going difficult. However, you have to fight until the last second, seizing your chance. I was surprised to see that I led in the first lap after my penalty lap, during my final shoot on the range. I thought Kaisa had no misses and would lead.”

Darya Domracheva is second overall, with 723 points. Kaisa Makarainen is in the lead (750 points) and third place belongs to Ukraine’s Valentina Semerenko (579).

By Yegor Glebov
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