Perfect finish as the final curtain fell
By Dmitry Komashko
The first trophy (the second of Domracheva’s career) was for the pursuit. This year, she has done especially well in this event. After an obscure start (16th place in Ostersund) Darya has never dipped below fourth place. In total, she boasts six medals for the pursuit and has claimed gold three times — including at the World Championships in Ruhpolding. This second Cup victory in a row for the pursuit has earned her the World Cup Small Crystal Globe in the discipline, as she has significantly outperformed her rivals.
In Khanty-Mansiysk, where Domracheva began her career, she took the mass start lead for the second time. She was also a leader of the season, several seconds ahead of Norwegian Tora Berger — her main rival alongside German Magdalena Neuner. The latter was knocked out at the third shooting range, after suffering four misses. Darya hit every target, placing her well ahead of Tora: by 8.9 seconds. At the final shooting range, Berger moved ahead temporarily. Fortunately, Ms. Domracheva soon overtook again, keeping first place and earning her second Small Crystal Globe of the season.
The major Cup trophy — the Big Crystal Globe — has been awarded to Ms. Neuner, from her score in her best and one worst races of the season (as stipulated by World Cup regulations). Magdalena earned 1,216 points against Domracheva’s 1,188, followed by Tora Berger with 1,054. Sadly, Magdalena Neuner and Helena Ekholm are now retiring from professional biathlon, which may make Darya’s path easier but true victories are born from opposing worthy rivals.