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Hanna Öberg, who turned 27 at the beginning of November, tore up the gap to the next over 30 seconds despite a one-minute penalty. Photo: Kalle Parkkinen.


Hanna Öberg continued the Swedish party, Kinnunen and Eder in the top 20

The first race of the Women's World Cup season ended with a Swedish celebration. Hanna Öberg won the normal distance, Norway's Ingrid Tandrevold was second and Italy's Lisa Vittozzi was third. For Finns, it was gratifying that two athletes were in the top 20. Nastassia Kinnunen was 15th and Mari Eder 17th.

Hanna Öberg survived the competition with one missed shot. The speed of the Swede's skiing was so brisk that not even a penalty minute in the last shooting position took away the victory. Ingrid Tandrevold, who finished the competition with zero shooting and took the best standard distance cup ranking of her career, was 36.5 seconds behind, and Lisa Vittozzi, who missed one shot in first place, was 39.7 seconds behind.

"I knew that the skiing would go well, I was relaxed about it. Today my main goal was to put all the pieces together with skiing and shooting. I think I did well. I worked with every shot. On the last vertical, one missed, but overall I'm really happy", said Öberg.

With Öberg's victory, the yellow vest will be worn by the Swedish athlete in both the men's and women's next competition.

"I am really happy about this. Now I can relax and continue my work from where I am."

Kinnunen and Eder's opening, a lot of positives

Nastassia Kinnunen shot past one from the first place, but cleared the other places cleanly. Kinnunen was 2.25.2 behind the winner. He was satisfied with his opening.

"The first World Cup is always a bit exciting, but I tried to do my best and didn't think about the results. It worked," Kinnunen said with satisfaction.

Mari Eder's three misses all came from the second berth.

"The race was quite moderate, unfortunately, three fines for the second taste lower the final ranking. I have worked more with vertical shooting at the end of the training season. It has clearly been more of a challenge to keep it together in a race-paced performance. I will happily take the zeros from it to the next games", said Eder.

Of the other Finns, Suvi Minkkinen was 40, Erika Jänkä 60 and Venla Lehtonen 73. Minkkinen cleared the first place without passing shots, but the other three each got one more.

"I was probably able to have a fairly even race, but there were too many individual slips on the bench. In a way, one penalty per place is not bad, but a bit too much in total," Minkkinen said of his three misses.

On Thursday in Kontiolahti there will be a relay race.