13.02.2020 - First Italian World Championship medal in Anterselva
The World Championships in Anterselva began with a spectacular mixed relay. It was spectacular primarily for the Norwegian team, that defended its title, but also for the second placed Italians and for the approx. 20,000 spectators in the Südtirol Arena
Norway, the leading biathlon nation in the World Cup, also made its mark in the World Championships competition in Anterselva, the mixed relay. Marte Olsbu Røiseland, Tiril Eckhoff, Tarjei Bø and Johannes Thingnes Bø suffered five missed targets in the shooting range but avoided a penalty loop and were dominant across the whole distance. In the end, overall World Cup leader Johannes Bø crossed the finish line with a lead of 15.6 seconds, successfully defending Norway’s title. Already at the World Championships in Östersund the Scandinavians were top of the podium in the mixed relay.
Excitement to the last shooting
Eckhoff and Co. had to fear for their Gold medal until the last shooting. The reason was the outstanding host nation: For a long time, Lisa Vittozzi, Dorothea Wierer, Lukas Hofer and Dominik Windisch stood up to the top favourites. Both women had to reload twice but kept the Italians on course for a podium place. Hofer, who was faultless in the shooting range, then pursued Tarjei Bø. His brother, Johannes Bø , was only able to pull away from Dominik Windisch (total of 2 reloads) at the final standing position. While Norway won the Gold, the Italians celebrated Silver. They succeeded in keeping ahead of Czechs who are so strong in the shooting range and left them with a Bronze medal.
For the Italian national team, it was the first World Championship medal in Anterselva. At the four intercontinental title fights in Val Pusteria so far, the Italian men's relay twice (1995 and 2007) scraped past a top-3 finish in fourth place by a paper-thin margin. This time, the Italians had a fantastic start to the competition. Not least because of this result the atmosphere in Anterselva’s biathlon centre during the first day of the competitions was fantastic. This race made us even more excited and increased our anticipation of the first individual race, the women’s sprint that takes place on Friday (2:24 pm).
Results World Championship Antholz - Mixed Relay 4x6 km
1. Norway (Marte Olsbu Roiseland, Tiril Eckhoff, Tarjei Boe, Johannes Thingnes Boe) 1:02.27,7 (0+7)
2. Italy (Lisa Vittozzi, Dorothea Wierer, Lukas Hofer, Dominik Windisch) +15.6 (0+6)
3. Czech Republic (Eva Kristejn Puscarcikova, Marketa Davidova, Ondrej Moravec, Michal Krcmar) +30,8 (0+2)
4. Germany (Franziska Preuss, Denise Herrmann, Arnd Pfeifer, Benedikt Doll) +49,2 (1+10)
5. Ukraine (Anastasiya Merkushyna, Yuliia Dzhima, Artem Pryma, Dmytro Pidruchnyi) +56,1(1+7)
6. Russia (Irina Starykh, Ekaterina Yurlova-Percht, Matvey Eliseev, Alexander Loginov) +59,4 (0+8)
7. France (Julia Simon, Justine Braisaz, Martin Fourcade, Quentin Fillon Maillet) +1.08,6 (1+9)
8. Austria (Lisa Theresa Hauser, Katharina Innerhofer, Felix Leitner, Dominik Landertinger) +1.39,5 (1+7)
9. Finland (Mari Eder, Kaisa Makarainen, Tero Seppala, Olli Hiidensalo) +1.39,5 (0+10)
10. Switzerland (Selina Gasparin, Lena Haecki, Benjamin Weger, Serafin Wiestner) +1.50,5 (2+14)
Comments on the race:
Johannes Thingnes Bø, Norway (1. place): “This victory is fantastic, naturally. At the end, I spent the rest of the time maintaining the advantage. We succeeded; we are overjoyed. All four have done a great job today.!
Dominik Windisch, Italy (2nd place): “This second place is special. The pressure of racing in your own backyard is tremendous. But now we have done it, it’s a terrific feeling.”
Dorothea Wierer, Italy (2nd place): “We all have really tough days behind us. Finally, it was time, and to start with a Silver medal, that’s just sensational. The fans have cheered us on from the beginning, they were such a fantastic support.”
Marketa Davidova, Czech Republic (3rd place): “That we would stand on the podium today, that I would never have thought before the race. It makes our joy all the greater. We have only made two errors in the shooting, that’s what made the difference.”