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Hinz Surprised With Perfect Hit
Vanessa Hinz of Germany was the surprise winner of women’s 12.5K mass start with a perfect record. She hit all the shots and crossed the finish line first at 35:47.9.
Up until the last shooting it was a three-way race between Hinz, Lisa Vittozzi of Italy and Anais Chevalier of France. They were perfect through the first three shootings and had distanced themselves from the rest of the racers. And then the race was over. Hinz didn’t miss any shots, but Vittozzi and Chevalier had to do one penalty lap. Vittozzi was second 13.5 seconds and Chevalier third 16.8 seconds behind Hinz.
– It’s an unbelievable feeling, I can’t understand it. I’ve been so often close to the podium, and I knew I can do it. Now I’m on top of the podium. It’s crazy, Hinz talked about her first time on the podium.
Hinz laughed she would do it all the time, if she knew what was the key to her clean shooting today. All she could tell was that she was very self-confident.
Vittozzi had an amazing weekend with three competitions and three times on the podium.
– This weekend was perfect. I tried to do my best today and concentrate on the shooting. Three races in three days was a lot, and I was tired, but I tried to do my best, she said.
Kaisa Mäkäräinen received enormous support from her home crowd, but that was not enough. She missed three shots altogether and was fourth 43.4 seconds behind Hinz.
– I’m pretty happy, it’s just that I really messed the first standing. Without that miss it would have been podium, maybe, she said.
She knew after the last shooting that her chances were gone, so she concentrated on securing her fourth place.
In Mäkäräinen’s opinion her skiing was good, and her shooting has been consistent lately in the last six starts. All good signs for the World Cup Total Score, which is a two-person battle between Mäkäräinen and Anastasiya Kuzmina?
– There are still 300 points up for grabs. I need to stay healthy and have good races. The difference is now 16 points, which is not much, said Mäkäräinen wearing the leader’s yellow bib.
Text: Varpu Sihvonen
Photo: Piia Kinnunen