On March 9, sprint races continued the competition program of the IBU World Cup 8 Biathlon at the "Laura" Center in Sochi. The test event is held by the Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee in conjunction with the Russian Biathlon Union and the International Biathlon Union.
In sprint, competitors start at 30-second intervals and ski three loops, interspersed with two bouts of shooting (prone – standing). For each missed target, the athlete must ski a 150-meter penalty loop immediately after shooting. The competitor with the fastest time is the winner. Men ski three laps of a 3.3-kilometer loop for a total of 10 kilometers. Women ski three laps of a 2.5-kilometer loop for a total of 7.5 kilometers.
In the men’s sprint, Martin Fourcade of France clinched his second victory in a row in Sochi after winning gold in the individual race two days earlier. Evgeny Ustyugov of Russia came second despite one missed target (+42.3) and Norway’s Henrik L’Abee-Lund finished third (+51.0) to win his first career’s podium.
In the women’s race, Magdalena Gwizdon of Poland won her second career’s victory at the World Cup. Anastasiya Kuzmina of Slovakia grabbed silver (+10.2) as Tora Berger of Norway won her second bronze in Sochi (+13.7).
On March 10, men’s and women’s relays will conclude the competition program of the IBU World Cup 8 Biathlon in Sochi.
Quotes of the day
Martin Fourcade (France): "My aim when I came to Sochi was to take away good feelings about the tracks, to feel comfortable here. Now I know I can win here and I feel very confident. But the job is not done and I still have to work hard."
Evgeny Ustyugov (Russia): "It was much easier to ski today. After the first race we know how to ski, to work at the uphills. There might be some mistakes but with time we will correct them."
Henrik L’Abee-Lund (Norway): "It's amazing to get my first podium and to have it here gives me extra motivation for next year. I have worked hard for several years and I feel like today was my day. It is like winning."
Magdalena Gwizdon (Poland): "I like that the track is difficult, I like this kind of tracks and I think that during the Olympics it will be also good here. The stadium is good."
Anastasiya Kuzmina (Slovakia): "The most important thing for me was the shooting but I finished clean. More importantly, though, we came here to test this ski track. It is not the easiest but I took into consideration what I did wrong before, concentrated on shooting and everything went perfectly."
Photos of the day: http://www.flickr.com/photos/43767123@N02/
Notes to the editor
The "Laura" Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center is unique in that it consists of two separate stadiums, with their own start zones and finish zones, two separate sets of tracks for cross-country skiing and biathlon, a shooting range and preparation areas for the athletes.
The center is situated on the crest and slopes of the Psekhako Ridge, 6.5-10 km to the north-east of the Krasnaya Polyana Village. The Laura is a raging alpine river with a large number of waterfalls, whose source can be found on the southern slopes of the Assar Ridge, inside the Caucasian Nature Reserve.