Martin Fourcade Takes Oslo Pursuit for Third Win in a Row
|20.03.2010, Oslo / Jerrry Kokesh|
|Schempp Has First Podium Finish of His Career|
|Martin Fourcade of France won for the third time in less than a week by taking the Men’s 12.5K Pursuit this afternoon at the Oslo World Cup. Despite falling out of first position briefly on the final loop, Fourcade, came away with another win in 33:46.9. He had three penalties today, after shooting clean in Thursday’s Sprint.
Fourcade led from the start, but was challenged on the final loop by clean-shooting Simon Schempp of Germany. Schempp made the first podium appearance of his career as he finished second, nine seconds behind Fourcade. In the final standing stage, Fourcade racked up a single penalty. At the same time, Schempp shot clean and left the stadium 1.7 seconds ahead of his French rival. Yet Fourcade would have none of being in second position and on an early uphill passed Schempp. He continued to push until the final meters in the stadium when victory was assured and he was able to enjoy the win.
Had to Push
Fourcade commented on the final loop, “I left the penalty loop and he was just in front of me. I wanted to follow, but I decided that I had to pass and I pushed hard from that point on. He did not give me an easy win as I had to push almost all of the way to the finish to make sure I had the victory.”
On his three penalties, he added, “The first and second ones were nerves. I just have to stay relaxed and even with the last one in standing, I was able to win.”
At the same time, Schempp knew he would probably be second. “When I left the stadium and he was so close, I thought Oh-S---! I wanted to win, but knew it was a very small chance that I would . . . I shot zero four times today and was very good on the tracks. I had good skis and am very satisfied with the second place. . . I did not have a mistake on the shooting range all week; that is the first time ever for me.”
The biathlon hat trick for Fourcade was something he had never thought of. “Three in a row; never in my dreams had I ever thought I would do this. It is so fun and so nice; I enjoyed it-perfect!” After the three victories in the past six days, Fourcade said with a laugh that he felt, “very good.”
Svendsen and Tcherezov
Although Fourcade and Schempp battled in the final 2.5K loop, the big battle was for third place between Emil Hegle Svendsen of Norway and Ivan Tcherezov of Russia. Tcherezov got the nod after a photo finish, with both he and the Norwegian given the same 26.2 seconds back. Svendsen had two penalties to Tcherezov’s one.
Tcherezov won the Pursuit competition at the last World Cup here two years ago and was again on the podium today. He said, “I like it here at Holmenkollen. The fans are very warm. The nature is very beautiful and I have like a spring mood, since it is almost the end of the season. I like it very much here.”
Dominik Landertinger started in seventeenth position, but finished fifth, with two penalties, 31.6 seconds back. The next three men also had two penalties. Russian teammates Evgeny Ustyugov and Alexey Volkov finished 32.5 and 38.2 seconds back, respectively, while Bjorn Ferry of Sweden was just behind them, 39.8 seconds back.
Pursuit Titles to Fourcade and Neuner
With his victory today, Martin Fourcade won the seasonal Pursuit title by one point over Simon Eder of Austria. Eder had been in the lead, but finished 28th today and fell behind Fourcade who won the two final Pursuits of the season. Magdalena Neuner of Germany wrapped up the women’s Pursuit title earlier in the day.