By Nikolay Dmitriev
On March 3rd, the competition for major biathlete awards will be launched in Khanty-Mansiysk. Darya Domracheva of Belarus is sure to take part, being on perfect form, as she proved during the pursuit race in Presque Isle, finishing third despite starting in 11th place. She also won a silver medal in the sprint in Austrian Hochfilzen and four bronze medals: in the sprint in Ostersund, in the pursuit race in Hochfilzen and in the mass start in Antholz and Fort Kent. Unfortunately, she is yet to claim a gold medal. Ms. Domracheva, born in Minsk, spent most of her adolescence in Khanty-Mansiysk, beginning skiing there. Its track is only marginally less familiar to her than her native track at Raubichi Sports Complex.
Other Belarusian athletes also did well in the USA. Lyudmila Kalinchik, Nadezhda Skardino and Nadezhda Pisareva (a national team debutante, who stayed at home) were successful in the relay race. Therefore, they are likely to set off for Siberia in good spirits.
Sergey Novikov, a silver medallist at the Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, also improved in Presque Isle. Rushed pre-season training prevented him from showing his traditional speed but he is gradually improving and may yet manage to repeat his Canadian success.