Johannes Thingnes Bø took the victory in the 15km mass start competition with an outstanding performance and will travel to the Pokljuka World Chamionships as world cup total score leader.
The final race of this year's world cup leg was another impressive biathlon performance in the South Tyrol Arena - particularly by Johannes Thingnes Bø. The Norwegian definitely wanted to end his drought in the South Tyrolean biathlon stronghold today. There was no doubt about his intention of victory right from the start. The mass start world champion of Antholz only missed one target at the final standing shooting but made up for it - as he has already done so many times - on the course and passed the finish line first. It is the 52nd world cup victory in total and the sixth triumph in Antholz for the extraordinary biathlete from Oslo. It is also his fourth win this season - the first in a mass start.
Today Bø's strongest competitor was Quentin Fillon Maillet. However, the French biathlete actually never came close to the Norwegian superstar and - just like Bø - had to take a penalty loop after the final shooting. Fillon Maillet who has won yesterday's relay competition with the French team and came in third in Friday's individual competition was trailing Bø by 31.3 seconds. Jakov Fak was able to celebrate a third place behind the strong Frenchman. The experienced Slovenian finished 44 seconds behind Bø also missing one target at the range and is now looking forward to his home world championships.
Lukas Hofer had to settle for 15th rank
On the other hand, Lukas Hofer has missed a top result. The 31-year-old local hero who, after shooting clean in prone position, was in the lead at half-time had to settle for the 15th rank after missing three targepts in standing position. However, Hofer was quite pleased that he was among the absolute elite on the course. Surprising up-and-comer Didier Bionaz also missed three targets. In the end the just 20-yer-old Italian finished in 21st rank.
The mass start has concluded the Antholz world cup 2021 - a good event, despite Corona. Now the biathlon circus will take a roughly three-week-break before continuing with the world championships of Pukljuka on February 9.
Biathlon World Cup Antholz:
15 km Mass Start Men
1. Johannes Thingnes Bø (NOR) 35.44,3 minutes (1 miss)
2. Quentin Fillon Maillet (FRA) +31,3 (2)
3. Jakov Fak (SLO) +44,2 (1)
4. Vetle Sjaastad Christiansen (NOR) +49,1 (3)
5. Arnd Peiffer (GER) +49,1 (2)
6. Erlend Bjøntegaard (NOR) +50,6 (3)
7. Benedikt Doll (GER) +55,1 (3)
8. Simon Eder (AUT) +57,8 (2)
9. Johannes Dale (NOR) +1:04,8 (4)
10. Martin Ponsiluoma (SWE) +1:05,9 (4)
15. Lukas Hofer (ITA/Montal) +1:16,3 (3)
21. Didier Bionaz (ITA) +1:52,4 (3)