Hat Trick for Tora with Mass Start Win

03.03.2013, Oslo / IBU Info JK
Seals Victory in Final Loop
Tora Berger went three-for-three in Oslo by claiming the women’s 12.5K mass start in 36:58.8, with two penalties. Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia finished second, also with two penalties, 5.4 seconds back. Darya Domracheva of Belarus claimed third , with three penalties, 23.3 seconds back.

Copyright IBU/Rene Miko
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France's Anais Bescond had the best day of her career in fourth place with clean shooting, 27.4 seconds back. Ukrainian Olena Pidhrushna and her teammate Vita Semerenko finished fifth and sixth, 44.1 and 48.1 seconds back. Pidhrushna shot clean while her teammate has two penalties.

Clear Day: Better Shooting

Another clear day at Holmenkollen minus the big winds of Saturday was what awaited the 30 women in the mass start. Fifteen women shot clean in the first prone, Berger, Domracheva and Kuzmina in the top group. By the time they reached the second prone stage, there were six women about 15 seconds ahead of the field. The second prone stage changed things a bit. Berger again shot clean as did Semerenko. Domracheva missed a shot and Kuzmina did two penalty loops. Now, Berger was in charge, followed by Semerenko. The first standing stage further strengthened Berger’s lock on first position. She shot clean and fast, giving her 10 seconds on the also clean Semerenko. Surprising Bescond now moved into third place with her third clean stage, but was 40 seconds back.

Two Penalties, But a Win

In this case, the final standing stage would decide places beyond first as Berger was virtually competing against herself. As the next loop progressed, Kuzmina came back into the picture after cleaning the first standing stage, moving past Bescond into third position as they came to the finals standing stage. Berger missed two shots as did Semerenko. Now Henkel, Kuzmina and Bescond came in together. Kuzmina cleaned quickly and took the lead with Berger hot on her heels. Bescond cleaned and left in third 10 seconds back with Pidhrushna, Semerenko and Domracheva another 15 seconds back. Now it was becoming a ski race to the finish. Berger pulled away with 1.5K to go, leaving Kuzmina and on the final big hill outside the stadium, Domracheva did her usual comeback and moved into third position as  they entered the stadium, the podium was set.

Turn Off Biathlon

Berger commented on her continued success. "I am also tired but try to turn off everything about biathlon when I am not in the stadium. I think that helps me recover so fast."

As for the two penalties in the final standing stage, she added, "I was not focused and that was why I had two penalties."

Tora is So Strong

Kuzmina thought she might win at one point today. "After the last shooting stage, I thought I might win,,, On the last uphill, I saw it was not possible...Tora is so strong. But this has been a good weekend for me here."

My Targets

Domracheva commented on her comeback today. "I was very concentrated as I came to the last shooting stage today... I felt only my race and my targets. Sometimes I try not to think about the places...I left the stadium and saw the French girl in front of me and then saw it was possible."

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