Domracheva Sprinted to Win


Darya Domracheva of Belarus had a strong finish and dashed to victory in women’s 7,5K sprint competition. Domracheva was third, 17.5 seconds behind Germany’s Franziska Hildebrand, after the second shooting with one missed shot from the standing position. Italy’s Lisa Vittozzi was second at that point. But then Domracheva was more flying than skiing the last loop and beat Hildebrand by 0.5 and Vittozzi by 5.5 seconds. Domracheva finished the race at 20:56.8 minutes.

Domracheva mentioned she was very inspired by her husband Ole Einar Björndalen, who had overcome some difficulties and raced the day before.

– I started the race feeling very proud of him, she said.

Hildenbrand said she waited for a long time to reach the podium, and now that it has happened, she couldn’t be happier.

– I’m very proud of myself, she added.

She admitted it was hard to lose by 0.5 seconds, but she gave it all she had in the last loop, and she’s happy being second. As for the shooting, ten out of ten, she said it was all about concentration.

– I feel a little bit tired now, but I hope it’s getting better by tomorrow, Hildenbrand said and joked it’s too bad there is no pursuit race.

– It would have been nice to pursuit Darya. Maybe we can do it in the mass start.

Kontiolahti is sort of a special place for Vittozzi, because that’s where she had her first ever podium.

– This place is amazing. I felt great today and tried to do my best at the shooting range, but I missed one too much, she referred to the missed shot from the standing position.

Kontiolahti’s own Kaisa Mäkäräinen was one of the favorites, but she ended up in tenth place 34.4 seconds behind Domracheva.

– It was OK, but I missed two shots. I could have done better, especially in the standing position. I felt the prone was one of the best ones this season, she said.

The other Finn Mari Laukkanen, 40th place with 1:37.8 behind the winner, said she had some trouble at the prone position because of the wind.

– The wind wasn’t all that bad, but I had to react to it. Skiing was kind of flat. I couldn’t get myself going right from the beginning, she explained.

Women’s race drew 6 500 fans to follow the competition.

Text: Varpu Sihvonen
Photo: Piia Kinnunen