Sometimes rivals are surely at a loss

World Cup biathlon stage in Ruhpolding brings silver and gold for Darya Domracheva, in sprint and mass start respectively, and second place for women’s relay team

World Cup biathlon stage in Ruhpolding brings silver and gold for Darya Domracheva, in sprint and mass start respectively, and second place for women’s relay team

The women’s relay team showed that they are fit to compete at any level. Nadezhda Skardino, Irina Krivko and Nadezhda Pisareva managed three separate team medals and proved that they are a force to be reckoned with, even without Darya.

Darya Domracheva tests her marksmanship during the mass start
Darya Domracheva tests her marksmanship during the mass start

The 7.5km sprint race wasn’t a success for Ms. Domracheva, due to missed targets. Like her performance in the World Championship in Ruhpolding on March 3rd, 2012, her marksmanship was disappointing. Magdalena Neuner claimed gold from under Dasha’s nose three years ago; this time, it was Norwegian Fanny Horn, who had only achieved 7th place to date. Fanny shot up the leader board to first place, dashing Darya’s hopes.

Dasha’s loss to Ms. Horn was not due to lack of skiing speed but due to her stumble to replace her gun cartridge. She finished just 3.4 seconds behind, while her cartridge replacement lost her 5-6 seconds. However, many of her fans worry that she was unable to make up those vital seconds. Dasha is known for her speed, but even this seemed to dissipate when she needed it. In her after-race interview, she underlined that she had skied well over the distance, and that her skis worked perfectly, as the wax-brigade had done a good job. In regards to speed she finished in second place, 21 seconds behind Vítková.

In the mass start, Darya seemed to move with the wind, sweeping through the snow without any hint of exhaustion. No doubt, her rivals must have felt the situation hopeless. Despite two penalty laps, she soon appeared among the leaders, overtaking leading Nowakowska-Ziemniak. The efforts of her competitors seemed quite useless.

Dasha repaid Vítková for her sprint result, finishing 28 seconds ahead of the Czech, and won back another portion of points from Mäkäräinen, having gained an equal number of victories this season. Darya is now just 58 points behind the leader in the overall World Cup standings.

By Igor Grishin
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