Martin Fourcade as the winner and Johannes Thingnes Boe in third place. The Czech athlete Ondrej Moravec placed between them, re-affirming the World Championship silver medal from Hochfilzen. The surprise of the day was Roman Rees coming in fourth.
The circumstances indicated that one could not make any mistakes to win. That actually was the case, with one exception by the name of Martin Fourcade. He hit the mark 19 times and then missed the last shot brining excitement back into the race. Johannes Thingnes Boe started six numbers later and made the mark three times. But even if he had hit five times in the last bout of shooting, it is doubtful he whether he could have beat Fourcade. In any case, even Boe missed a shot and came in over a minute behind the winner.
Fourcade developed his love for the individual races late
Fourcade, who won for the fourth time in a row, was visibly pleased, as he clearly skied faster than Boe, “I am in good shape and very proud of my achievement. I won my first individual race relatively late. In the meantime, this race suits me very well. I love it.” Boe was not able to keep up in spite of a better starting number. “I was very aware of Martin all the time, even that he missed in the last round. I really wanted to win and gave it my best, but then I missed as well,” he said
A perfect race for Moravec
Ondrej Moravec had already made his mark with an excellent shooting and, for him, very strong race performance. He didn’t pose a danger to Fourcade, but Boe was not able to out-ski his last penalty minute as compared to the Czech competition. In comparison: in Östersund he was alone on the track and four minutes slower. It is understandable that the Czech athlete was altogether satisfied, “The beginning of the season did not go well at all, now I am pleased all around. For me it was a perfect race and is equivalent to a victory.”
Roman Rees was the surprise fourth place winner
The sensation of the day was the fourth place winner Roman Rees, who was the last of the 108 competitors to start. He shot four rounds without a mistake and kept up speed while skiing as well. The 24 year old from the Schwarzwald and the Sports Club Schauinsland finished the competition of his life and thereby won his ticket to Pyeongchang when he crossed the finish line.
Missed a few times too often
Arnd Peiffer and Simon Schempp delivered a sound performance. They made a few too many shooting errors, however, for top results. “This is currently symptomatic for me,” said Pfeiffer. Schempp said, “I managed more or less, but in the fourth and fifth rounds, my back started to ache again.”
Bad luck pursued Johannes Kühn again. While Rees crossed the finish line, he fell back to 16th place. Making 15th place would have meant his second partial qualification. Benedikt Doll raced very well, but missed the mark too often and said, “I did not concentrate well enough.” He placed 22nd. It was a different situation for Erik Lesser who came in 63rd. After a 14-day training pause, it was clear to him that he wasn’t yet in good enough shape to be in the leading pack, “My body will still need some time. I wanted to try and experiment shooting and it didn’t work.”
Farewell to the King of Biathlon
Ole Einer Björndalen seems to have missed his ticket to his seventh Olympic games. After two perfect rounds of shooting he was right on track, but two misses in the prone position, sealed his fate. He would not have another chance. The fans cheered the former “king of biathlon” on to the finish line – even while suspecting that this might have even been Björndalen’s last World Cup race.