Super day for Finns


The home crowd had many reasons to celebrate in the opening night of Kontiolahti World Cup, as Kaisa Mäkäräinen won the race and Mari Laukkanen came third. For Mäkäräinen this is the second victory this season.

“I am not that used to winning in the World Cup because these victories are not something that I achieve every day. Of course it feels great. The race was so hectic, 20 minutes and something. I was

concentrated on my own performance and suddenly the race ended. Keeping calm and not listening to what happens around you surely helps. Of course it always helps when you’ve got the crowd cheering for you.When you’re tired, it gives you an extra boost and you do not want to give up.

My shooting was fine but when I missed one shot in prone, I had a moment of doubt… My third shot hit the target but it dropped rather slowly. It was just as close within the target as the second one”, Mäkärinen said.

Mäkäräinen was glad to have a compatriot with her on the podium:

“I’m really happy, I’ve known and seen Mari’s potential for many years. It’s nice that she finally succeeded.”

For Mari Laukkanen, this is the first time that she’s climbed the podium and she surely was happy about it:

“I needed to find my own way to practice to get to this point. My better physics this season is due to the fact that we’ve concentrated on my strengths and weaknesses. We’ve made quite a leap with small things. Getting this far has been a long road”, Laukkanen said happily.

Between the Finns there was Olga Zaitseva (RUS).

“I was sick before the Olympics”, she explained about performing better now than at the Olympics on her home soil.

When asked if her career will go further, she answered:
“It is 50-50, yes or no. I must think”, she said with a smile.