20.01.2023 - Saturday promises plenty of excitement

20.01.2023 - Saturday promises plenty of excitement

Saturday’s slate of competitions at the Biathlon World Cup in Antholz promises two absolute gems.

20.01.2023 - Saturday promises plenty of excitement
The winners in the pursuit will be honoured at the foot of the Hochgall mountain. The world's best female biathletes will be in action from 1 pm, while the men's competition will kick off at 3 pm.

Sprint champion Dorothea Wierer will open the 10-km women’s pursuit event. The 32-year-old from Niederrasen, who was elated about her ninth podium finish on Thursday in Antholz, will start with a three-second lead over surprise runner-up Chloe Chevalier from France. Wierer has a nine second edge over 2nd-place finisher Elvira Öberg from Sweden, who also turned in a convincing performance on the first day of competition.

Meanwhile, Marte Olsbu Røiseland will start the pursuit in fourth place, 15 seconds behind the local champion. The former Slovenian cross-country skier Anamarija Lampic will start the race right behind her. In her red bib, Denise Herrmann-Wick will begin as the leading German biathlete in 6th place with her German teammate Janina Hettich-Walz right behind her. Caroline Colombo of France and overall World Cup leader Julia Simon also have their sights set on a podium finish. Both will start 27 seconds behind Doro Wierer. The "Azzurra" Lisa Vittozzi, currently fourth in the total score, will start the course in 13th place, trailing by 45 seconds. The biathletes will have to head to the shooting range four times during the pursuit race: twice prone, twice standing. There are three more "Azzurre" in the race: Samuela Comola and the two women from Antholz, Hannah Auchentaller and Rebecca Passler.

Johannes Thingnes Bø leads the pursuit

In the men's 12.5 kilometre race, sprint champion Johannes Thingnes Bø will lead the pursuit. His toughest opponents, second-place finisher Swede Martin Ponsiluoma and his Norwegian teammates Sturla Holm Laegreid (3rd) and Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen (5th), will have to make up a gap of more than half a minute.

The many German fans on hand in Antholz are eager to witness the performance of surprise fourth-place finisher Roman Rees. Coming in 6th and 7th respectively in the sprint, Emilien Jacquelin and the "Azzurro" Tommaso Giacomel will start the pursuit competition at almost the same time. They will have to make up gaps of 1.08 and 1.10 minutes respectively to Johannes Thingnes Bø. The Norwegian superstar won the first two pursuit races in Kontiolahti and Hochfilzen, finishing third in Annecy-Le Grand Bornand before coming out on top again in Pokljuka.
There will be two more biathletes from the Italian national team at the start: Didier Bionaz (48./+2.36) and Elia Zeni (52./+2.42).
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