In the 20 km individual competition he relegated his eternal rival Johannes Thingnes Bø into second place and secured his 11th world champion title in an individual race and his 27th medal on the whole.
As expected, the first men's race in the second week of the World Championships at the Südtirol Arena Alto Adige was a showdown between the two top stars Martin Fourcade and Johannes Thingnes Bø. While many of the favourites had problems with the difficult wind situation in the shooting range, the exceptional French athlete and the Norwegian leader of the World Cup performed smoothly as ever. Fourcade in particular set a very high standard with no mistakes up to the last standing shooting and a very high speed on the course.
Landertinger gains the first medal for Austria
The only athletes who could take it up with Fourcade were Bø and a surprising Dominik Landertinger. With Fourcade, the Austrian was one of the few athletes who managed to reach the last shooting session without mistakes. There he missed one shot, just like the Frenchman, and Gold moved out of reach for Landertinger. However he got Bronze, the third World Championships medal of his career. Already four years ago he had occupied the second WCS podium place in an individual event.
The Austrian underdog was not the only one who could not keep up with Fourcade’s performance. Bø as well had to acknowledge defeat and content himself with Silver. On the course he was slightly faster than Fourcade, but the penalty minutes he got due to two shooting mistakes paved his rival's way to Gold.
Hofer achieves top 15
Like in the other races, the Italian athletes didn't get near the podium in the individual event either. The best Italian result was again scored by Lukas Hofer. He displayed a good performance on the track but had no chance on a podium place due to four shooting mistakes. In the end he was able to finish 13th and gain precious World Cup points, differently to his team mates: Thomas Bormolini (4 mistakes) finished 48th, Thierry Chenal (4) achieved rank 60 and local athlete Dominik Windisch from Rasun finished 75th with 8 shooting mistakes.
Results of the 20 km individual event men, World Championships Anterselva (Wednesday, 19 February 2020)
1. Martin Fourcade (FRA) 49.43,1 (1)
2. Johannes Thingnes Boe (NOR) +57,0 (2)
3. Dominik Landertinger (AUT) +1.22,1 (1)
4. Jakiv Fak (SLO) +1.30,2 (1)
5. Benjamin Weger (SVI) +2.25,5 (2)
6. Tarjei Boe (NOR) +2.33,6 (3)
7. Quentin Fillon Maillet (FRA) +2.34,6 (4)
8. Leif Nordgren (USA) +3.04,3 (0)
9. Johannes Dale (NOR) +3.20,1 (4)
10. Sebastian Sameulsson (SWE) +3.35,3 (2)
13. Lukas Hofer (ITA) +3.55,1 (4)
48. Thomas Bormolini (ITA) +6.40,7 (4)
60. Thierry Chenal (ITA) +7.26,5 (4)
75. Dominik Windisch (ITA) +9.07,7 (8)
Comments on the race:
Martin Fourcade, France (1st place): "My goal today was not to miss any target. In the end I missed two, but I could win still Gold. I am overjoyed, the individual race is my favourite one. Moreover the Anterselva course suits me, here I feel really well."
Johannes Thingnes Bø, Norway (2nd place): „After I missed a target at the first shooting I knew I had to remain focused. After that it all went smooth, I missed another target but I am very satisfied with my Silver. Tomorrow I'm determined to fully attack again in the single mixed relay."
Dominik Landertinger, Austria (3rd place): "In the last years I was often affected by my disc prolaps, so I could never achieve a really good performance. Since Christmas though, I have felt better and better. Winning a medal at a World Championship is just fantastic."