Pidhrushna Wins Women’s Sprint

28.01.2012, Osrblie / IBU Info TO
IBU OECH Biathlon in Osrblie
Olena Pidhrushna of Ukraine won the women’s 7.5K sprint at the IBU Open European Championships Biathlon with clean shooting, while flying around the tracks in 20:23. Second place went to her teammate Valj Semerenko, with two penalties, 29.4 seconds back. Bronze went to Poland’s Weronika Nowakowska-Ziemniak with one penalty, 35.5 seconds back.

Copyright IBU/Rene Miko
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Fourth place went to Germany’s Nadine Horchler, who shot clean but was 44.9 seconds back. Fifth place went to Darya Usanova of Kazakhstan with one penalty, 49 seconds back, just 1.6 seconds ahead of Russia’s Ekaterina Shumilova with two penalties.

Low Start Number

Pidhrushna started with number 16 today and began slowly. After many of the athletes who started ahead of her missed during the standing stage, she took the lead and extended it during her last lap. At the finish, she commented, “The race today was hard, because of the tough tracks and because of the cold. It’s colder here than it was in the World Cup all winter. There, we usually have temperatures above freezing and here it was minus 10 today. Also, I forgot to get the skis marked and did that only one minute before the start. But when I started I forgot about all of this and just ran. I knew I had to fight hard because of my low start number and all the good athletes would come in the middle of the competition.”

Two Misses

Behind her, Valj Semerenko finished second due to a strong last lap. With one penalty each in prone and standing, she left the shooting range 8 seconds behind Nowakowska-Ziemniak but finished 6 seconds ahead of the Polish athlete. She said, “In my current shape, two misses are bad. I expected to shoot clean in prone or in standing and am surprised to be in this position despite two misses. The coaches along the track told me the results all the time and that helped me a lot today.”

Birthday Present

Nowakowska-Ziemniak from Poland did not expect a medal. “I expected the Ukrainian women to be in very good shape today. I knew it would be very hard to win a medal here but I also knew that the key to that was shooting, so I focused on that. I am happy about this medal.  It is for sure one of the best results of my career. It’s also my brother’s birthday today so this is my birthday present to him.”

Only eight women will start in the first minute of the pursuit competition tomorrow. Yet there are several more athletes following close behind. With four shooting bouts and the tough tracks here the fight for the medals will be exciting again.