Frenchwoman Marie Dorin Habert picked up her first International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cup win of the season as she claimed victory in the women’s 7.5 kilometre sprint event in Pokljuka, Slovenia, today.
The reigning world champion shot clean on her way to gold in a time of 20min 17.8sec, edging Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier by a narrow 1.1 second margin.
Dahlmeier’s compatriot Franziska Hildebrand, who secured her first-ever IBU World Cup success in the 7.5km race in Hochfilzen, Austria last Friday (December 11), did enough to earn bronze ahead of Veronika Vitkova of the Czech Republic.
The result saw Dorin Habert move in front of Hildebrand into second place on the overall leaderboard on 255 points but Czech Gabriela Soukalova still leads the way on 262 points.
“I am not surprised, but I am very happy,” the Frenchwoman said.
“I did a good job on the shooting range.
“I worked hard on my standing shooting.
“It was hard on the skis, as we had a lot of races last week.
“I tried to be very concentrated on each target.”
Amid glorious sunshine in Pokljuka, the race began with Hildebrand taking the initiative as, despite an average time on the skis, she managed to shoot clean and establish an early lead.
The penalty loop proved to be a crowded place during the majority of the event, with only 10 women shooting clean throughout, though the likes of Dahlmeier, Hildebrand and Vitkova remained composed, clearing all their targets to make for a frantic finish.
All three finished the competition with a clean shooting record but it was Dorin Habert who was quicker on the skis, coming through late on to clinch a nail-biting triumph to get her pursuit of the overall crown up and running.
Despite missing out on victory, it was a fruitful day for the German contingent as Dahlmeier and Hildebrand both sealed podium finishes, while Maren Hammerschmidt came seventh and Franziska Preuss was ninth.
The third IBU World Cup event of the season is due to continue tomorrow with the men’s 12.5km pursuit and the women’s 10km pursuit races.
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December 2015: Hildebrand powers to maiden IBU World Cup success as Germany enjoy podium sweep
December 2015: Fourcade clinches second win as IBU World Cup in Östersund ends
December 2015: Defending IBU World Cup champion Fourcade sprints to dominant win in Östersund