In freezing, foggy conditions, Eskau continued her dominance from the cross-country
Germany’s reigning long-distance biathlon world champion Andrea Eskau and 22-year-old Vivian Hosch have each picked up podium places on home snow at the short-distance night races at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup in Oberried on Thursday (23 January).
In freezing, foggy conditions, Eskau continued her dominance from the cross-country – where she currently holds the lead in the world rankings – to finish first over 6km (21:01.5). In a close race with Russian World Cup leader Svetlana Konovalova (21:05.8) and her teammate Maria Iovleva (21:12.3), the top three sit-skiers did not drop a shot.
Meanwhile, Hosch and guide Norman Schlee had a similar battle with another two Russians in the women’s visually impaired. In that event, world champion Mikhalina Lysova (guide Alexey Ivanov) took the victory in 17:30.5 ahead of Iuliia Budaleeva guided by Tatiana Maltseva (17:32.3). Hosch and Schlee rounded off the podium with an 18:48.6.
A Russian top three showed the ever-present strength of the Sochi 2014 host nation in the men’s 7.5km sitting event. World Cup leader Roman Petushkov holds a narrow 14-point lead at the top of the standings, but extended his lead over short distance Japanese world champion Kozo Kubo with a win in 22:13.1. Kubo could only manage a ninth-place finish in a tightly packed field after dropping a shot. Irek Zaripov only finished a few tenths behind Petushkov in 22:52.4 but ahead of Alexey Bychenok (23:00.6).
Russia’s Azat Karachurin extended his biathlon World Cup lead over Norway’s Nils-Erik Ulset, finishing first despite dropping a shot (17:27.3) in the standing race. Karachurin’s compatriot Aleksandr Pronkov, World Cup No. 4, had a strong finish in 17:48.7.
Triple biathlon world champion Russian Nikolay Polukhin and guide Andrey Tokarev (17:39.2) increased their huge lead in the men’s visually impaired with a win over Ukrainian world championship silver medallists Anatolli Kovalevsky and guide Oleksandr Mukshyn (18:00.3). Russia’s cross-country World Cup overall winner Stanislav Chokhlaev, guided by Maksim Pirogov, finished third (18:04.3).
Oleksandra Kononova (17:10.9) and Liudmyla Liashenko (18:53.9) picked up two more podium places for Ukraine in the women’s standing, split by Russian Anna Milenina in second (17:40.2). Cross-country World Cup No. 2 Kononova and Milenina both dropped shots. World champion Ukrainian Iuliia Batenkova finished seventh.
Races at the IPC Nordic Skiing World Cup biathlon finals continue in Oberried on Saturday (25 January).
Pictures of all the competitions are available for download at the IPC's Flickr page.