Surprises in Hochfilzen

The winter sports season is now underway, having been long awaited by fans. Following Swedish Цstersund hosting the first stage of the World Cup, Austria’s Hochfilzen has taken on the mantel, bringing more excitement and anticipation. This time, in the central mountains of the Tyrol, we’ve witnessed the weather’s whims and the success of our Belarusian biathletes: new names and old.
By Igor Grishin

The women’s sprint opened the competitive programme, with most of our hopes pinned on Darya Domracheva, who occupied her usual second place on the eve of the event. Sadly, her short distance shooting failed to meet the mark, with four misses out of ten targets (two at each of two shooting lines). She finished a disappointing 36th as a result. Surprisingly, she also lacked her usual speed, being in third place for pace, and 15.4 seconds behind Norwegian Tora Berger, who led.

Belarusian Nadezhda Skardino finished only 28th while novice Anastasia Kalina was best in the team as regards shooting, being the only one without a miss at least at one shooting range (0+2) — during the sprint. Sadly, she finished 75th, being slowest among all those on the Belarusian national team, and among 77 biathletes. Her final time was 2:19.5 seconds behind Berger.

In the relay, our women’s team was rather unbalanced, leaving us in 7th place, to fans’ dismay. Nadezhda Skardino was excluded from the women’s chase, lacking enough points from the sprint to qualify, and leaving all eyes on Darya Domracheva. Our ‘Belarusian rocket’ moved up from her 36th start position to 11th, but three misses at the shooting range prevented her from claiming a medal. Norwegian Synnшve Solemdal came first while Ukrainian Juliya Dzhyma took silver and last year’s silver medallist, Krystyna Pałka from Poland, took bronze, failing to quite match her performance at the last World Championship in Novй Město, where she earned silver.

Darya now has 116 test points and closes the top-ten in the all-round standings of the World Cup. Nadezhda Skardino has 64 points and is in 24th position, while other Belarusians still lack test points.
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