By Yuri Karpenko
So far this season, the women have performed best. Sadly, in German Ruhpolding, there were no medals for any Belarusian team member, for the first time in its history. However, the squad redeemed itself in Italy, with team leader Darya Domracheva showing her talent in the 12.5km mass start, winning bronze. It was her best race in Antholz. She was the only one of 30 sportswomen to make no errors in her shooting. After her final piece of marksmanship, she led. However, over the last kilometre, she was outpaced by her rivals, leaving her 5.8 seconds behind winner Tora Berger, of Norway.
In the relay, the Belarusian team (comprising Nadezhda Skardino, Darya Domracheva, Nadezhda Pisareva and Lyudmila Kalinchik) finished fourth. They could easily have won a medal, being stronger than most of the remaining 19 quartets. Nevertheless, fourth place is their second best result this season, having taken bronze during the fourth round in German Oberhof.
The Belarusian men’s team has shown no significant victories so far, with fans keenly anticipating a turnaround. March will see them attend the World Championship in Russian Khanty-Mansiisk, following the Lake Placid round and another in Fort Kent, scheduled for February.