In the women’s 15km individual race, a close battle was fought, but Italian Dorothea Wierer’s quick, clean shooting assured her victory. Wierer took the win with an 0,8-second lead on Denise Herrmann of Germany, who earned a single penalty during the first shooting. Like Wierer, Sweden's Johanna Skottheim also finished without a single miss and placed third.
Wierer was relieved she was able to keep going to win the race, even though the skiing was hard going during the last stretch.
“I am happy that I shot cleanly every time. I knew it was important today. In skiing, I think I will slowly improve with more races. The last round was really hard. I heard Denise getting closer and closer. The race was really close,” Wierer said happily.
A ferocious team effort from the Swedes
Wierer and Herrmann are familiar sights on the podium, but Skottheim placed in the top three for the first time in her career at the World Cup. This was another great memory of Kontiolahti for Skottheim, as she finished seventh last season.
“I'm really happy with today’s results. We have a really good spirit in the Swedish national team. I really like our team. We all try to encourage one another,” praised Skottheim.
The Swedish team's effort was significant, as four Swedes were among the top seven and the fifth-best Swede was 11th. Mari Eder, who was 32nd, was the most successful Finnish woman. Eder’s ranking was weighed down by three penalties, two of which materialised during the final shooting. There were many positives to Eder's performance.
“Physically, it was probably a balanced start. I didn’t gain any sudden spurts of speed in the final round yet, but I was able to complete the race at a steady pace. I am quite satisfied with the situation. The shootings were good in terms of outcome but varied in performance. The first shooting was well executed, while the second was slightly weaker in technical performance,” Eder said.
Suvi Minkkinen came 69th as the second-best Finn. She cleared the first shooting without missing any shots, but the remaining three shootings resulted in a total of four penalties.
“No disasters happened at any point. The individual is brutal – if you perform well, you’ll place well, but if your performance is mediocre you won’t get very far. Today's performance was ok, but I didn't like the result. There’s unfinished business for tomorrow,” Minkkinen said.
Check all the results: biathlonresults.com